On Jan. 26, 2020, Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and several others died in a horrible helicopter accident. This horrible start to 2020 truly shook the entire world as this basketball icon was lost. One year later, as the world remembers and still mourns his death, basketball and sports fans everywhere continue to keep his memory alive.
On the day of his tragic death, Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven others were on their way to an event for the LA Lakers. Surprisingly, the helicopter was given the “okay” to fly even after weather conditions that day were less than adequate. Once the news of the crash came to light, immediate panic and sadness struck his fans, the basketball community and sports fans of every kind all over the world.
Last Tuesday, on the one-year anniversary of his death, friends of Kobe and other basketball stars sent out heartfelt tweets and other social media posts.
The Lakers Twitter account sent out a tweet including a photo of Kobe and his daughter with the caption, “Family is forever.”
Lebron James recorded a video speaking on Bryant’s death, saying, “Legends never die, and he’s exactly that.”
Magic Johnson sent out a multitude of tweets on the anniversary of Kobe’s death, one of them being, “Kobe will always be my Lakers brother for life.” He went on positively about Kobe, saying he was “a great basketball player, athlete, husband, father, philanthropist, mentor & teacher of the game to many men and women of all ages.”
Multiple other friends and public acquaintances of Kobe said kind words regarding the anniversary of his death like, “Still doesn’t seem real,” and “I miss our conversations.” Kyrie Irving, a professional basketball player for the Brooklyn Nets, even showed up to his game in a Kobe jersey. NBA teams across the country sent out kind tweets and displayed old images of Kobe on big screens in their arenas.
In the days following Kobe Bryant’s death last year, the LA Lakers players and coach vowed to keep his memory alive. As they were unsure how to continue with the season, not only because of Kobe’s death but because of the height of the Coronavirus, they knew that even if the season was not the same, they would find a way to pay tribute to Kobe. With chants like, “Mamba on three… One, two, three—Mamba!” and tattoos etched in his memory, his name is very much still alive. In a game directly after Kobe’s passing, his teammate Danny Green said, “That was one of the hardest games I’ve ever played because of how heavy it was, how emotional it was… Playing in that game was sort of an out-of-body experience. I wasn’t there in the game. Like, the ball felt weird. It was weird playing that game. It was tough, man.” His coach, Frank Vogel, was quoted saying, “We want to represent what he stood for. That’s the most important thing for us.”
As many still have trouble coming to the realization that he is gone, it is evident that his inspiration, dedication, passion and legendary actions will never die.