Remembering Kobe Bryant

Aaran McAllister, Sports Editor

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January 26, 2020 will be a day that sports fans everywhere will remember. It was on this day that the legendary Kobe Bean Bryant and his daughter Gianna passed away after a tragic helicopter crash.

Bryant will be remembered as not only one of the all time great players in NBA history, but a revered husband, father, and person. Bryant positively impacted so many, including me.

Bryant was drafted thirteenth overall in the 1996 NBA draft by the Charlotte Hornets and was traded to the Los Angles Lakers immediately after. He would spend every season in the league with the Lakers. He went on to win five championships over his illustrious career. He won two finals MVP’s as well as the 2007-2008 regular season MVP. He was a member of 12 all defensive teams and 15 all NBA teams. Bryant retired as one of the most accomplished players in league history.

Bryant was not only a talented player, but was one of the hardest working players league has ever seen. His legendary “Mamba Mentality” inspired fans from across the world to work hard to achieve their goals. Bryant was an inspiration to almost all.

While his accolades were endless, Bryant was more than a basketball player. Bryant was successful in every facet of his life, becoming an academy award winning producer and a New York Times best selling author. He was also a loving father of four. Bryant loved sharing his love of the game with his daughter, Gianna. Gianna had a bright future and her whole life ahead of her. His breaking down of a game court side with his daughter will be one of the lasting images of Kobe in my mind.

Bryant’s reach was near endless, and even found its way to Northeast Kansas. I fell in love with the game of basketball because of Kobe Bryant. My first memories of the NBA were watching the Lakers battling the Celtics in a NBA highlight video. Bryant was my first favorite player and has remained one of my favorites of all time. I have spent much of my young adult life watching, talking, and loving the NBA. Bryant was the fuel to finding my passion and love.

The world will miss Bryant and his daughter, and this will hurt for a long time. I will leave everyone with a quote from the legend himself: “Have a good time; enjoy life. Life is too short to get bogged down or be discouraged. You have to keep moving, you have to keep going, put one foot in front of the other, smile, and just keep on rolling.”

Bryant’s legacy will live on forever in the hearts of NBA fans. The story of the NBA could not be told without his name. May the Mamba live on forever in our minds and hearts.