By Brian Gewecke
Graphic by Quincey Stewart-Kohr
On Sunday, January 26, Kobe Bryant and his daughter GiGi were among nine killed in a tragic helicopter accident. This event had the world in shock, and when the news was finally confirmed, people across the world were taken by grief.
Although Kobe’s death devastated the world, we must remember the legacy he built throughout his life. Kobe was drafted to the NBA straight out of high school, and would go on to play for the Los Angeles Lakers for his entire 20-year career. He was a five-time NBA champion and an 18-time All Star, and although he was a fantastic scorer, he brought it on the defensive end, becoming a 12-time All-Defensive Team player.
What set Kobe apart from everybody else was his almost-inhuman focus and drive. Some NBA players, such as Michael Jordan and Jimmy Butler, have created incredibly successful NBA careers from outworking everybody else, but Kobe took it to another level. The Black Mamba had what those who know the NBA call “Mamba Mentality”, the mentality to be the best and never let anyone outwork you. His incredibly unique mindset along with his extremely high intelligence, he was a student like no other.
The death of Kobe Bryant devastated the NBA community as a whole. Many of the older veterans in the NBA were close friends of Kobe, and many of the younger players grew up watching Kobe play. They were inspired by his play, and there are several players who would not be in the NBA today, if it wasn’t for Kobe.
With the death of Kobe Bryant, the world will never be the same, but we should take joy in remembering the incredible legacy he left behind: his family, his incredible career, and the countless basketball players whose lives were changed by the Black Mamba.