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.

NBA Legend

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.

Personal reflection

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

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For the second straight night in the row, Robert Covington got the start. It has helped the Rockets spread the offense out. The only thing the Rockets must do is be consistent with their shooting.

Since the Rockets traded Clint Capela, they have been able to spread the floor and take more 3-point shots. Adding Covington gives them another shooter on the floor. Covington has made big shots against Utah and LA.

"You knew he can hit threes; it did surprise me a little bit that he's hit two game winners already," Coach D'Antoni told the press. "He had two in LA; so, I didn't know he hit big shots all the time."

In the last three games, Covington is shooting 41.9% from the field, 37.5% at the three-point line, and averaging five rebounds a game. He has also been a good rebounder for the Rockets too. Covington has been a nice addition to the Rockets so far despite losing two games in a row. He did have an off night from the field in the win against Boston but still scored 12 points, seven rebounds, three steals, and four blocks. Covington was disruptive on the defensive side of the ball as well.

Another good thing about the small ball equation is the Rockets are much better in transition. They can get up the floor much quicker now because the size difference. The Rockets main strategy is to outrun bigger opponents with this small lineup. Covington adds to the Rockets athletic frame because of his quickness and length.

Harden believes in the small ball because it allows them to spread the floor and get back quicker on defense.

"We're able to get better quality shots; which allows us to set up our defense on transition," Harden told the press. "Our half court defense is pretty tough to score consistently. So that's where we want to get; we want to take quality shots and get back on transition to make teams play us half court."

Can the Rockets keep solving this problem to the equation?

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