Sports

A Tribute to NBA Legend Kobe Bryant

Bryant’s legacy will always be cherished by many and live on forever

By: Danny Cacace

Kobe Bryant wore the #8 and #24 on his jersey in his NBA career. Credit: Bleacherreport.com

Last week, NBA legend Kobe Bryant and eight other victims, one of them being his daughter Gianna known as Gigi, were all tragically killed in a helicopter crash in California.

 The seven other victims besides Bryant and his daughter were John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Christina Mauser, Sarah Chester, Payton Chester and Ara Zobayan. 

 Bryant will be remembered as one of the greatest NBA players ever to grace the court.

 He had career averages of 25.0 points per game, 5.2 rebounds per game, and 4.7 assists per game. Bryant played for the Los Angeles Lakers all 20 years of his career from 1996-2016, won five championships with them, and had two finals MVPs. 

He was the 13th pick in the 1996 NBA Draft selected by the Charlotte Hornets then traded to the Lakers that same day. Bryant won one MVP in his career while also being selected to the All-Star Game 18 times.

Bryant also has the second highest scoring game in NBA history with 81 points against the Toronto Raptors on January 22nd, 2006. He’s the fourth all-time in points scored in NBA history with 33,643 points right behind LeBron James who just recently passed him in scoring the night before Bryant’s passing. 

 Bryant’s death affected millions of people across the world, not just in the U.S.

 People such as current Laker player Lebron James and many other NBA players were severely affected by Bryant’s passing because of how close they were to him. People all over the world were deeply affected by his death because Bryant was a big part of their lives in ways that others just did not understand. The people that were hurt by his death watched him over the years become the legend that he was. 

 On Friday night, the Los Angeles Lakers played against the Portland Trailblazers just after the NBA postponed the Lakers/Clippers game that was supposed to be held on Tuesday, but had to be rescheduled due to Bryant’s death a couple days prior to the game. 

The Lakers gave a heartwarming tribute to the late Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gigi with singer Usher performing ‘Amazing Grace’, hip hop group Boyz II Men sang the ‘National Anthem’ before the game started, and rapper Wiz Khalifa and singer Charlie Puth perform their song ‘See You Again’ during the halftime show. 

In addition, before the game, they had a video reel of Bryant and his daughter shortly after Lebron James gave a speech about Kobe that came straight from his heart.

 “Now I know at some point, we will have a memorial for Kobe but I look at this as a celebration tonight,” James said during his speech about Kobe Bryant. “Tonight we celebrate the kid that came here at 18, retired at 38 and became probably the best dad we’ve seen over the last three years.” 

 Bryant was multilingual, he spoke three languages which included English, Italian, and Spanish. During his retirement, he was training his daughter Gigi and other girls in an academy he opened called the Mamba Sports Academy, an academy designed to train young adults. The sky was the limit for Gigi’s basketball skills to grow. Many people saw Kobe’s genes in her when she played the game. 

 “My girls and I want to thank the millions of people who’ve shown support and love during this horrific time,” Vanessa Bryant who posted an emotional tribute on her Instagram page to her late husband Kobe and late daughter Gigi a few days after their deaths. “I just wish I could hug them, kiss them and bless them… have them with us, forever.”

Bryant, although lost, will never be forgotten by the ones who truly loved him.

 

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