On January 26th, the world feared for the worst. TMZ had just put out a bombshell. Kobe Bryant had been killed in a helicopter crash.
Was it fake? Were they hacked? Is this another hoax?
Then, the LAPD Sheriff Twitter tweeted this out:
Okay. So they got the crash right, that doesn’t have to mean it was Kobe, right?
Then all journalistic integrity was thrown out the window. ABC News’s Matt Gutman reported a rumour on live TV, saying all four of Kobe’s daughters were in the crash. Rumours on social media started swirling, saying former Laker Rick Fox was in the crash. Media started tripping on each other to find out what was going on, Alison Moris of MSNBC somehow managed to make an absolute mockery of herself in this mess.
Slowly, it started to sink in. The world lost Kobe. We lost Kobe.
On January 25th, the NBA world was busy looking at LeBron James, as he would have the chance to pass Kobe Bryant for 3rd most points of all-time. James did just that. He only needed 18 points, but the King went off for 29, passing Kobe.
Kobe Bryant congratulated LeBron James.
It would be his last tweet.
Kobe Bryant, the player, was already a legend.
Bryant was the man. No, let me correct that. Kobe Bryant IS the man, and will always BE the man.
Everyone knows the story of Kobe Bryant. The #MambaMentality was an inspiration to a generation. He’s a whole generation’s GOAT. No matter how you feel about Kobe the person, or how you felt when your team played Kobe, Kobe is and was an idol to millions, and we’re going to keep watching those who idolized him in the league.
Kobe Bryant was just entering a new stage of his life. His animated short "Dear Basketball" had recently gotten him an Academy Award, but that’s not what I mean. With the rise of his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna Bryant, Kobe had returned to the game he didn’t plan on being as involved in. Kobe the Player became Kobe the Teacher.
Just recently, Kobe Bryant and Gianna Bryant were seen courtside breaking down a game, and it became a meme. It has so much of a different meaning now.
Kobe Bryant had become one of the biggest supporters of Women’s Basketball and the WNBA, his daughter had plans to play in the WNBA as well.
In an interview on ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’, Kobe said this about Gianna.
This kid, man," he said. "The best thing that happens is when we go out and fans come up to me, and she’ll be standing next to me and they’ll be like: ‘You’ve got to have a boy. You and [wife Vanessa] have got to have a boy, someone to carry on the tradition, the legacy.’ And she’s like, ‘Oh, I got this.’
Kobe Bryant already made the biggest impact on millions around the world and was on a path to inspire millions more.
Kobe’s impact can be seen in the smallest of things, millions around the globe will shout "KOBE" as they throw something in the trash, millions model their game around The Black Mamba.
I don’t even write about basketball on here, I’m just some casual from Canada, but the impact that Kobe Bryant has touched people everywhere and anywhere.
Kobe Bryant, no matter how you feel about him, will go down as one of the greatest influences in sports, if not in all of history. Sunday’s loss of Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and the seven others on board, will go down as one of the most shocking losses in sports, if not history.
So in the end, thank you, Kobe.
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