26th January would be forever listed as a dark day in the history of sports. A legend, Dad, Role model, A future hall of Famer and a man who inspired a generation of new superstars in the world of sports was taken from us on that very day. Tears alone would not be able to depict my sadness on that day, but as the days moved on, I constantly told myself I was going to pull through this tough moment. Reading this article might seem otherwise but it is with deep sorrow and sadness that I am writing it. Kobe Bryant popularly called the “mamba” was a great inspiration to us all. Richard Jefferson who was a former basketball player with the Cleveland Cavaliers said we are all connected to Kobe in a special way and I buy into his opinion. No matter who you are and what you do this man’s death affected at least everyone’s daily routine in the past few days. His legacy is something that is needed to talk about because he had a positive impact on the sports community and even society as a whole.
The Tragedy We Are All Trying To Come To Grips With
On a faithful Sunday morning per multiple reports, Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna with seven other people met their untimely death in a helicopter crash. They were reportedly going for a basketball tournament and unfortunately for them, the helicopter crashed with multiple investigations attributing it to poor weather conditions. There were no survivors as the world mourns the death of these people. An ordinary man does ordinary things but a man who does extraordinary things is considered to be an extraordinary being. Kobe was more than extraordinary. His ability to read and define the game of basketball was on a whole new dimension and this has made him cement his legacy in the sport. His hall of fame status is undeniably under no threats although you and I would miss him because we won’t hear him give his speech before being inducted. Kobe Bryant spent 20 years with the Los Angeles Lakers where he amassed a number of accolades to his resume. His achievements are as follows:
🏀33,643 Points- 4th all time
🏆5-time @NBA Champion
🥇2-time @Olympics Gold
🎽Number 8 retired by @Lakers
🎽Number 24 retired by @Lakers
Kobe Bryant was drafted 13th overall by the Charlotte Hornets in 1996. His rights were soon traded to the Los Angeles Lakers, where Bryant spent 20 seasons. He is one of two players to play at least 20 seasons, all with one team (Dirk Nowitzki).Over his career, Kobe Bryant won five NBA titles in seven Finals appearances. In 1998, he became the youngest All-Star starter in NBA history. In his final game, the NBA’s 4thall-time leading scorer finished with 60 points, an NBA record for a player’s final game. The “mamba” legacy will continue to live on for years to come as he inspired many around the globe. On the night before his untimely death, Lebron James of the Los Angeles Lakers surpassed him on the all-time NBA scoring chart with 33184 points and Lebron even worn a sneaker with the inscription, “Mamba for life. ” As a fan that would be hard to digest because it would have been a great honor for Kobe to pass on the torch to his compatriot in searching for greatness but that ceremony and pleasantries were not meant to be as it got torched the day after. Kobe had a will to never give up and he had the tendency to keep going just to be the best among the rest. It was of no surprise to me that the NBA games continued as usual and the first game of the evening saw the Houston Rockets and their opponents hold a minute silence in his honor and for the rest of the victims of the crash. During Kobe’s time in the NBA, he wore two Jerseys(8 and 24) for ten seasons each and they were both retired by the Los Angeles Lakers. Teams took 8 and 24-second violations in his honor to pay tribute to his contribution to the game. The Dallas Mavericks retired his number 8 jersey even though he never played for that organization. He inspired the new generation of NBA players including Trae Young, Luka Doncic, Ja Morant, Zion Williamson and many more. On the day of his demise, both Trae Young and Devin Booker combined for 81 points on 24 shots each. That was simply amazing and I was astounded by those numbers. Players wore his jerseys as a sign of respect and some even wore his signature shoes. Most NBA players including Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets boycotted his game due to the emotional trauma he had to go through. For what Kobe Bryant had stood for in the NBA, he would have never wanted any game to be postponed. He would have wanted us to keep going and that is what the NBA is doing.
Gigi Was Special Beyond Measure
You might have wondered why I never mentioned Kobe’s daughter Gigi in my article yet, but I had wanted to save the best for the very last. The legacy of Kobe Bryant was going to be passed on to his 13-year-old daughter had she not died with him on the helicopter and that makes this article more intriguing because who is going to continue the legacy of the “mamba “. There is only one person that comes into mind and his name is Lebron James. He was a worthy opponent that ever challenged the mamba and he recently tasked himself to continue the legacy. We all know how Lebron James who is arguably one of the best to ever play the sport, has responded to adversities in his career. Remember the 2016 NBA finals when his legacy was on the line and he did the impossible? Well, I honestly believe Kobe Bryant’s legacy is in good hands because just like Kobe LeBron has this mentality of being the best that there ever was. Playing for the Los Angeles Lakers is the best thing the laker fans would have wished for in this dire moment as they need a new hero to soften their pain even though the void left by Kobe would never be filled. A championship is all the natives are asking and the last time they won gold was the decade before when Kobe Bryant led them to the promised land. It would be such a great feeling for these Lakers and Lebron to be able to do the one thing which I feel would be the best thing to remind everybody of how he was influential in their win.
Undoubtedly one of the All-time greats, Kobe would forever remain in the hearts of everybody and as we continue to mourn him his positive effects on both society and the NBA would never be forgotten. There have been calls for the NBA to redesign the logo and place his silhouette on it and that is an initiative I am strongly in favor of with no disrespect to Jerry West. The All-Star game to be held in Chicago is to be played in his memory. Although I would have loved for the game to be free, the NBA would know what is best for such an icon. Kobe wanted us to move on and live life to the fullest without regretting anything and that is the sort of mentality that would never decompose in the minds of human beings who are one way or the other connected to him. His legacy would forever live and as King James has taken the mantle to do that we will patiently wait for the 2020 NBA championship for the purple and gold colors of the Lakers.
R.I.P Kobe and Gigi