RIP Kobe Bryant
NBA Legend Kobe Bryant dead at age 41
It brings me great sadness to even type this, but NBA legend Kobe Bryant has died in a helicopter crash. He was 41. Details are slowly trickling in, but the Los Angeles County Sheriff's office has confirmed Bryant was one of the passengers on board a helicopter that crashed near Calabasas, which is just northwest of Los Angeles. This news comes less than 24 hours after LeBron James passed Kobe for 3rd place on the NBA's all-time scoring list. Kobe even tweeted out his props to LeBron shortly after it happened.
Kobe played all 20 of his seasons for the Lakers. When he finished his career, he held several records, won five titles, was 4th on the all-time scoring list, won two gold medals, and firmly established himself in the G.O.A.T. talk. He defined a whole new generation's outlook on what a true legend in the game of basketball. He was the closest thing a new generation had to what my generation has in Michael Jordan. So many people hated him simply because he was so damn good and routinely ripped the hearts out of their teams. However, he was respected by teammates and opponents alike because of what he called "Mamba Mentality."
Off the court
Before he retired, Kobe started Granity Studios. It's a production company that he listed in his Twitter bio as being the CEO, writer, and producer for. He even won an Oscar for best animated short documentary for "Dear Basketball." Kobe was such a Jordan fan, he even went into several different business ventures. He started a venture capital company in 2016, was a noted philanthropist, and even made a rap album early on in his career. If you ask me, perhaps his most favorite off the court activity was coaching his daughter's AAU team. He seemed genuinely happy when doing so and always talked glowingly about his experiences in coaching.
Growing up watching Michael Jordan from college to the NBA, I never thought I'd see anything remotely close. Then came Kobe. He walked, talked, shot, and would even stick his tongue out like Mike. I've ben in endless debates as to who's better. I always side with MJ since he has more hardware and did it with I would say is lesser talent. Kobe was the one guy that made me think if anyone could dare challenge MJ. His passing is hard to deal with as my kids are hurt that one of their heroes is gone. I have to check on my sister in law and some of my cousins. They were all in that generation I spoke of that would pick Kobe over MJ. It's hitting them hard as well. I know people who named their kids after him because they loved him so much! Kobe was the ultimate competitor who wanted to win at everything he attempted. It's almost fitting his last Tweet will be congratulating someone who looked up to him and passed him on the all-time scoring list. It showed his true love and respect for the game that gave him so much. We will always have the memories, but damn this is tough. #RIPMamba