RIP ‘Black Mamba’ Kobe Bryant
For those who have even the slightest interest in basketball would know the name Kobe Bryant, also known as Black Mamba. The retired Los Angeles Lakers star Bryant, 41, and his daughter Gianna, 13, died in a helicopter crash near Calabasas, California, on January 26, 2020. His death was a shock to the world which was left mourning. Bryant leaves behind a brilliant legacy, not just in sports but also in personal life. Many think he had just started contributing to the world, and had still a lot to offer.
Let’s take a look at his legacy…
Kobe Bean Bryant (August 23, 1978- January 26, 2020) was an American Professional Basketball Star Player.
Born to a former NBA player, Joe Bryant, Kobe attended Lower Merion High School in Pennsylvania, where he was recognized as the top high-school basketball player in the country.
Bryant started playing basketball at a young age of 3 years and the Lakers were his favorite team when he was growing up. At an early age, he also learned to play soccer.
Drafted to the N.B.A. directly out of high school in 1996, Bryant was named an All-Star in 18 of his 20 seasons for the Lakers and helped lead the team to five championships.
At 34 years, Bryant became the youngest player in league history to reach 30,000 career points. He became the all-time leading scorer in Lakers franchise history on February 1, 2010, when he surpassed Jerry West.
During his third year in the league, Bryant was chosen to start the All-Star Game and was selected to start that game for a record 18 consecutive appearances until his retirement. At the time he became the youngest player ever to play in an NBA game at 18.
He’s the winner of the N.B.A.’s Most Valuable Player Award for the 2007-8 season, and the N.B.A. finals M.V.P. in both 2009 and 2010.
In 2016, he scored 60 points in his final game while leading the last-place Lakers to a surprising win over the Utah Jazz. Then he retired.
Bryant declined to play in the 2000 Olympics because he was getting married in the off-season. He wed Vanessa Laine on April 18, 2001, and had four daughters.
Not just on the field, he’s a winner off field also. Post-retirement, he won an Academy Award in 2018 for his animated short film “Dear Basketball” while also creating the web series “Detail” for ESPN in which he analyzed current players.
Kobe Bryant with his daughter Gianna
Kobe Bryant with his Oscar Award