Forever Kobe

“Kobe Bryant dies in helicopter crash in Calabasas.” When TMZ first released the headline, the words felt unreal, impossible to be true. The world waited in fear and time ran slowly. It was when ABC, ESPN, WOJ and others confirmed the words that the world began to mourn, not just the basketball world, not just fans in the United States, but people all over the world expressed their shock and deep sadness.

In 41 years, Kobe did more than most of us can dream of doing. As former NFL player, Shannon Sharpe tweeted, “41 years doesn’t seem like a long time, but IF* you’ve lived a life as accomplished and fulfilling as KOBE. It’s an eternity.” What Kobe did in the NBA cemented him as a legend, there was never a doubt. However, the work he did outside of the NBA was just as important and memorable. The lives he touched were countless and the love and kindness he gave will last forever. 

When reflecting on what occured on the morning of January 26th, one word seems to describe the events: tragedy. After Kobe’s death was confirmed by the media, reports informed that Kobe was not the only person lost. Eight other people passed including Kobe’s 13-year-old daughter Gianna. Those who knew Kobe, knew his love for his daughters was immeasurable and that he believed with all his heart that his beautiful daughter, Gigi, would carry out his legacy. When asked if he wanted a son, Kobe said he was a girl-dad and if he could, he would have five more girls. The truth is, everything Kobe did, he did with all his love and effort, and raising his daughters was not an exception. Most importantly, it is knowing that the Bryant Family lost a father, a husband, a sister, a daughter, and their best friends that moves us to tears.

“It wasn’t supposed to happen like this” is another phrase that describes the sentiments of knowing that Kobe and his daughter are gone. Even after the days that have passed, it still feels like Kobe isn’t really gone, and the reason for this is because of everything Kobe left behind. Kobe is physically gone, but what he did and worked for will remain forever, and the world was reminded of this when ESPN re-aired the final game of Kobe’s legendary career. Kobe will certainly live on in the hearts of his family and friends, but he will also live on through videos and photographs for those who didn’t get the chance to meet him. 

The stories and works of art that have come out since Kobe’s passing have been beautiful and abundant. On January 28th, musician Bad Bunny, posted on Twitter a touching song dedicated to Kobe that beautifully puts into perspective Kobe’s legacy. In “6 Rings,” Bad Bunny raps, “Congratulations. You also won six rings. Five in the NBA and one in a marriage that gave you your daughters. Thinking that one of them left with you got me out of control, but nah, it’s so you don’t play ball alone in heaven.” While the sadness and pain runs deep, these beautiful pieces of art and the stories told by those who knew Kobe has brought the world together to celebrate and honor Kobe.

What remains now is a lot of love. A love that runs far and wide from all over the world for Kobe and his family. We can think of Kobe’s passing as leaving a giant hole in the world but that would mean forgetting everything Kobe gave to the world. In reality, Kobe has filled a space in history that will transcend his presence on Earth. We are allowed to cry, and we are allowed to rejoice for that. If it wasn’t clear before it is now that his victories, work, inspiration, and love will last forever. His love for the game and what he did for it is ours to keep. The man is gone but Mamba, #8, #24, and Kobe are forever.