The Legacy of Kobe Bryant: Saying Goodbye to a Legend

(Source: Flickr)

As you may have heard, the world has received the shocking news that Los Angeles Lakers retiree Kobe Bryant has passed in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26. Not only did Bryant leave a huge impact on the Laker franchise, but he also left an amazing imprint of the NBA.

Bryant entered the league at the age of 17. Having to have his parents cosign on his contract until he was the age of 18.

“Even though Kobe went to the NBA as a high school graduate,” said Marc Dewitt, Sinclair’s AAMI Coordinator. “A major anchor of his success and discipline to the game came from how his parents raised him.” 

Seeing that even though Bryant became a millionaire at the age of 17 he still had a curfew. With his father being a former NBA player he knew how much discipline and focus his son would need to become the legend he remained to the day of his death. 

“Though Kobe may have passed, I feel now as if he is immortalized,” said Raheem Inkosi’shabazz, Sinclair alumni. “His legacy will live on forever. As my favorite player, he was an icon and that is what he will remain forever in this world’s heart.”

Bryant was incredible. Just the night before the future Hall of Famer passed, he congratulated NBA star, Lebron James, on finally surpassing his record for being the 3rd all-time leader in scoring.

Bryant passed as the highest-scoring shooting guard in the NBA. Bryant also is the Lakers all-time leader of scoring, steals, games played, minutes played, 3-pointers made, free throws made, and field goals made. He is widely regarded as the greatest Laker of all time, no small feat for a franchise full of Hall of Famers.

Bryant delivers a speech at the Staples Center after his last NBA game in April 2016, thanking Lakers fans and his family for their support throughout his career. (Source: YouTube/NBA on ESPN)

There is a constant debate about who the greatest basketball player of all time. Of the numerous greats to ever play the game, most often Michael Jordan, Lebron James, and Kobe Bryant are constantly in that debate. As I sat in my room for the remainder of that day I couldn’t help but feel grieved within my heart of such a major loss to pop culture and the game of basketball that I love dearly.

Bryant has left a mark on this world and the game of basketball forever. On the day of his death, NBA games were canceled, those that went played on took time to pay tribute to Bryant in a special way; moments of silence, allowing the 24 seconds of the shot clock to expire in memory of the number he wore and taking an eight-second backcourt violation for the number he wore, as the league mourned one of its all-time best.

Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young took 24 shots in his game the day Bryant died as he wore the number 8 in memory of Bryant; scoring 45 points. Devin Booker, the Phoenix Suns’ guard took 24 shots as well and scored 36 points. Together the two scored 81, in memory of Bryant’s record of scoring second-most points scored in an NBA game.

Though we debate around the world if Bryant is the greatest of all-time, I feel as if his efforts on the court sometimes overshadowed the man he is off the court. Bryant was an amazing father to his four daughters. We also mourn his daughter Gianna Bryant who was present in the crash as well. Bryant was not only an amazing father but an amazing husband as well. 

“It’s so sad to see him leave his wife,” Noah Jones, current Sinclair student said. “I cried and shed a tear of compassion because of the man he was. This also made me reflect on my life and the loss of people important to me as well. All I can do is show compassion and empathy for his wife and kids that are still here.”

Bryant not only impacted the world with his efforts on the court, but he recently impacted the world with his amazing bond with his daughter Gianna. He and his daughter went viral as a meme with the two bonding during a basketball game while Bryant was teaching her the ins and outs to the game he dominated.

Bryant also made sure to consistently post his daughters on his social media, expressing how proud he was to be their father. He made games and even helped coach the daughters in the sports they played.

I can not imagine what pain his wife and children may feel. Bryant was a light to this world, touching hearts in many nations. Bryant’s mamba mentality has spread to Asia, Africa, Europe, South America, and of course, it runs deep within the veins of Northern American sports fans.

I know that if the world mourns him, his wife and children are devastated. All we can do is move forward, but Kobe Bryant; we will never forget you. You will remain in our hearts forever…. Mamba out!

Bryant’s career wasn’t without controversy, but his mark on the sport is indelible. ESPN’s “Remembering Kobe Bryant.” (Source: Facebook/ESPN)

Will Kellum
Intern

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