Kobe Bryant; Gone But Not Forgotten

Kobe Bryant; Gone But Not Forgotten

Patrick Stevenson, Staff Reporter

“Kobe Bryant, daughter Gianna, and 7 others die in helicopter crash.” 

20 years from now, you’ll remember when you saw the news flash. You’ll remember the feeling of a paralyzing disbelief that overcame your body. You’ll remember that fateful day forever. A day where we lost a world-class basketball legend and a talented young girl, with aspirations to become like her father. A day for mourning for those all around the globe. Bryant was on his way to Mamba Sports Academy, for a youth basketball event that Gianna was going to compete in. Sadly, both Kobe and Gianna and 7 others fatally crashed near Calabasas, CA before they could arrive. 

It took only hours for the outpouring of memories and condolences to start flowing in from all social media platforms. Bryant was primarily known for his illustrious basketball career, stretching from 5 NBA Titles, 18 All-Star selections, the 2008 MVP award, an Olympic Gold Medal. His unique playstyle brought a memorable flare to the game of basketball. 

When asked about his unusual style of play, Bryant famously said, “These young guys are playing checkers. I’m out there playing chess.”

Looking back at his notable retirement, Bryant still had that fire burning in him. Bryant was an Oscar winning director, winning best animated short film, ‘Dear Basketball.” Bryant also famously said on CNBC in 2016 that he wanted to be remembered for something other than basketball. 

Host Jeff Stibel asked, “In 20 years, will your legacy be basketball or investing. Which would you prefer?” 

Being quite frank, Bryant replied, “Investing.” 

Bryant wanted to be known as someone who made a difference in this world, in more ways than one. He forged a path that led him to great success and even greater friendships. What he did on the court made him a legend, but it was what he did off the court that gained him respect.

Many celebrities reached out on Twitter, sending their condolences and reflecting on the time they spent with Bryant. 

There’s no words to express the pain I’m going through with this tragedy of loosing my neice Gigi & my brother @kobebryant I love u and u will be missed.” former friend and teammate Shaquille O’Neal said.

Micheal Jordan looked back at times he played against Bryant.

“I loved Kobe – he was like a little brother to me. He was a fierce competitor, one of the greats of the game and a creative force.”

Former President Barack Obama had a somber account of his interaction with the late Bryant. 

Kobe was a legend on the court and just getting started in what would have been just as meaningful a second act.” 

Part of that second act was his daughter, Gianna Marie Bryant. She was the “baller” of the family, the one that was to follow in her father’s footsteps. In an interview during a WNBA game in Las Vegas, she talked of having a mindset similar to her father. 

“I try to watch as much film as I can, more information, more inspiration.”

Bryant was on his way to Mamba Sports Academy, for a youth basketball event that Gianna was going to compete in. Sadly, both Kobe and Gianna and 7 others fatally crashed near Calabasas, CA before they could arrive. 

Kobe consistently strived to be great and nothing stopped him from becoming what he imagined himself as. What he left behind is not restricted to his time on the court. He is an example to all of us. Bryant showed us that dreaming big isn’t just achievable, it’s easy. 

Everything negative – pressure, challenges – is all an opportunity for me to rise.”