On Sunday, January 26, 2020 basketball legend Kobe Bryant and eight others were killed in a fatal helicopter crash. Amongst those killed in the crash was his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna Bryant. She was expected by many to be a huge future basketball star in her own right. As for Kobe, he is seen as one of the greatest basketball players of all time to many basketball fans. Bryant was a public figure and role model for multiple generations. He leaves behind him a wife, two daughters, and a legacy in basketball that will never be diminished.
In Bryant’s time in the NBA, he was a 17-time consecutive all-star player. This is unprecedented. As a member of the Los Angeles Lakers, Bryant was able to go on and win five NBA world championships. His first run as national champions in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2009, and again in 2010. Among those seasons, he led the team to the NBA Finals a total of seven years, with the team winning five of the seven years that they went to the championship.
Aside from his contributions to the team, Bryant has had several incredible feats of his own. He won the 1997 Slam Dunk contest. Furthermore, he was one of the few NBA stars to go straight from high school and catapult to greatness in the NBA, arguably the most successful alongside Lebron James. He is an Olympic gold medalist and holds several records from his tenure in the NBA. Among them, he had the third-highest all-time scoring average for any player in NBA history. Ironically, this record was just surpassed by Lebron James, who has now sent him into fourth place. Bryant’s last tweet was posted the night before his passing where he congratulated James for passing his record and continuing his legacy.
Bryant will always be revered as one of the greatest sports icons in American history. These aren’t even a fraction of the many things he was able to accomplish in his time in the NBA. Regardless of whether or not you were a fan of his or a fan of basketball at all, he was a prime example of how anyone can be taken away from us. He will live forever as one of the greatest icons in American culture. May his legacy forever live on.