Being only Twenty years old, growing up in Miami I have been a Heat fan all my life. My first memory of basketball was Dwyane Wade throwing the ball up In the 2006 NBA finals as time expired. The superstars I grew up with included Kobe Bryant who was an absolute polarizing figure. I remember elementary school fading away from the trash bin and yelling “Kobe” every time we shot a piece of paper into the trash. His impact to the sport was absolutely gigantic.
I missed his early title runs when Shaq and Kobe dominated the league, but clearly it was some of the best basketball this world has ever witnessed. My clearest memories of Kobe Bryant include his back and fourth battles with Dwyane Wade. His running shot off one leg while Dwyane Wade contested his shot had me speechless. I was frustrated by the greatness I was witnessing watching my team lose in such a heartbreaking fashion to one of the greatest players the league has ever seen.
I have never seen a player thrive in such clutch situations like Kobe Bryant. His back to back titles runs in 2009 and 2010 were some of the most impressive basketball I remember growing up. His tragic death Sunday sent the sports world into a frenzy as former players payed their respect to legend.
Tributes to Kobe
The news of Kobe and his daughter, Gianna Bryant, is heartbreaking. I pray for his wife Vanessa and his daughters as they lose two of the most important people in their life. My thoughts and prayers also go out to the families of the seven other passengers onboard the helicopter.
The world will never forget the lasting impact Kobe Bryant had not only for the sport of basketball but off the court as well. Teams such as the Dallas Mavericks have already announced that they will retire Kobe’s #24 jersey.
Rest In Peace Kobe Bryant your memory will never be forgotten. You helped inspire a whole generation that the Mamba Mentality is a way of life, and you can overcome anything if you set your mind to it.
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