Update: There was the previous version of this article that stated 3 others had passed away. Local authorities have confirmed at least seven others passed away in the crash.
Today, the sports world was rocked by the news that Kobe Bryant and his daughter along with at least seven others passed away in a helicopter crash in Calbassess, California. Kobe was 41. His daughter Gianna was 13.
There aren’t proper words to describe what this loss means to the sports world. The word icon gets thrown around all too often these days, it’s become almost cliche but Kobe Bryant was one. His basketball accolades are numerous. During his twenty-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, he won five NBA titles, during which he won two NBA Finals MVPs. He also won the NBA regular season MVP award in 2008. This tragic news comes less than 12 hours after LeBron James passed Bryant for the 3rd all-time on the NBA’s leading scorers list. Bryant’s final tweet was a congratulation to Lebron it read “Continuing to move the game forward @KingJames. Much respect my brother.”
I could go on and on about his achievements on the court, but the reason this loss hurts so much isn’t just because Kobe the great player it was Kobe the man that inspired us all. The will, the determination, the fight he showed off the court, especially in his later career. Who could forget when he tore his Achilles tendon against Golden State in 2013 and he somehow managed to stay in the game and make both of his free throws before limping off the court and being sidelined for months. At that moment everyone learned the toughness it takes to play, the game of basketball, but really he showed us the toughness it took to make it in the game of life. No one man is bigger than any sport but in so many ways Kobe Bryant defined the game of baseketball, and he certainly defined what it meant to be a Laker. His shadow will forever loom over the game and especially the Staples Center.
Let us not forget though Kobe Bryant was something much bigger than a basketball player. He was a husband and a father to four daughters. That’s what matters the most and that’s what hurts the most. The fact that he had so much left to do. Now, Vanessa Bryant, his wife must somehow pick up the pieces for her and her three remaining daughters. Lebron James and company must try their best to pick up the pieces for Laker Basketball. But, deep down it’ll never be the same. Kobe is gone. But, Mamba mentality will live forever. Rest In Peace, Kobe. We all love you.
We here at Score On Air would like to send our sincerest condolences to Kobe Bryant’s family, friends and fans.