The Great Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant

Malcolm Connors , Sports Editor

On January 26th, 2020, all time NBA great, Kobe Bryant, and his 13 year old daughter Gianna were among 9 who passed away in a helicopter crash in Calabasas CA, a suburb of Los Angeles. They were reportedly on the way to Giannas’ travel basketball game. Also on the helicopter were two of Giannas’ teammates and their parents, along with the pilot.

Kobe Bryant, from Philadelphia, PA, spent all 20 years in the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers. Drafted straight out of Lower Merion High School, the first guard to go prep to pro, the Lakers made a draft day trade to acquire him after only one tryout. He would proceed to be selected in 17 all star games, winning the games MVP 4 times. He went on to win 5 NBA titles, winning finals MVP twice, and the 2008 NBA’s MVP. He was also selected to 12 all defensive teams, and was included on the first team 9 times.

The entire world mourned the death of Bryant. From heads of state to former teammates, almost everyone has said their condolences to the fallen giant. In games across the NBA, teams held various tributes to Kobe. Ranging from a moment of silence, to 24 and 8 second delays to commemorate his two jersey numbers. Lebron James, who passed Kobe on the all-time scoring list the previous day in Philadelphia, broke down in tears after learning of Kobe’s death. In addition, at the Grammys, held at the Staples Center, also called the “House that Kobe built”, host Alicia Keys started the program with a touching reflection on how everyone was feeling about Kobe’s death, before serenading the crowd with an a capella version of “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday,” accompanied by Philadelphia music legends, Boyz II Men.

Kobe Bryant will sorely be missed, especially in his home region of Philadelphia. The sixers had their tribute begin with a 33 second tribe in honor of his high school jersey. Then 9 tolls of their celebratory bell. At the campus of Lower Merion High School, a mini memorial was visited by various members of the community since the announcement of his death, with many of them going over their memories about watching Kobe at the school gym, which is named after him.

On the day in question, there were 9 souls lost from this world. If anything else, the tributes seen in the immediate days after the accident can begin to mend the wounds from this unspeakable tragedy. In addition, many, including Kobe himself, have said that Gianna was going to be the one to carry on the Black Mamba name, just off of her hard work and dedication to the game of basketball that’s been woven into the family name Bryant. While the past few days in the sports world have felt somewhat empty, we are all fortunate to have watched and to have known of the Great Kobe Bryant. Rest In Peace Mamba.