The Bryants were attending a youth basketball tournament when the helicopter taking them there crashed in Calabasas, California. Due to the crash causing a bushfire, responders were not able to quickly get to the site of the crash. Sadly no one survived, including the seven other passengers aboard with them. Kobe Bryant was only 41-years-old at the time of his death, but his legacy will live on.
Having played 20 seasons with the Lakers and not being traded to any other team, Bryant during the time was the fourth-highest scorer during his time in the NBA. During his time playing basketball, he won the five-time NBA championships and was voted twice for MVP. Furthermore, Bryant was an 18 time All-Star and 11 time NBA First Team. Bryant even won two Olympic gold medals for Team USA’s basketball team
But Bryant’s legacy doesn’t just stop at his basketball career. Fans and friends of Byrant went to social media to share their experiences with the Basketball star.
Many social media posts explained how compassionate a friend and father Bryant was. Arguably the most heartbreaking was Shaquille O’Neal’s reflection on Kobe Byrant’s death. Shaq commented on how much Byrant meant to him and all memories that they shared on the court together. Other posts from fans said that Kobe was the reason that they found a passion for the game of basketball.
During a tribute for both Bryant and Gianna, many close friends to the family gave their condolences. For Michael Jordan, Kobe was like a brother. Vanness Byrant, Kobe’s wife, gave a tearful speech on the type of man Kobe was, as well as the type of daughter Gianna was.
I sat down and interviewed my older brother, Sheraj Singh, a junior at the University of Pittsburgh, to discuss what it was like to have one of these role models pass away.
“Kobe was a role model for me because he taught me to never give up regardless of the challenge and showed me how hard work can make your dreams come true.”
These comments reflect how many fans felt about Bryant and why he was so important to them. With many still saying good-bye to the NBA All-Star and his daughter, Kobe Byrant’s legacy will live on. Whether it be in attending a Lakers game or playing basketball, Bryant’s death left a wound in the basketball community that will take a lot of time to heal.