“A Tribute to Kobe”

%22A+Tribute+to+Kobe%22

Christian Pannullo, Staff Writer

As of today, January 26th, it was exactly one year ago when the world lost hall of famer, five time NBA champion, 18 time all-star, and former season MVP Kobe Bryant, along with his daughter Gianna and seven other souls on board the helicopter crash in Calabasas.

Now that his tragic passing is a year old, and arguably what started the mess that was 2020, it is fair to give this man and his family recognition for all he has accomplished as an athlete and a loving family man.

Kobe was, without any doubt, one of the best basketball players of all time. His numbers speak for himself, being a 5 time NBA champion along with being ranked fourth in history for most career points, at a staggering 33,643 points in just over a thousand games.

He wasn’t just a great player; he truly did influence and change the game. The average person who has never watched a game of basketball in their life would probably recognize the name Kobe Bryant immediately and now that he’s gone so soon, his legacy has an even stronger impact on the world. It is the reason why you’ll hear so many young kids yell “Kobe!” right before they shoot a basketball at the park. Kobe has a statue of himself outside of the Staples Center in Los Angeles and he even has his own iconic nicknames, a few being Lord of the Rings, Izzo, Employee number 8, and the most known and recognizable one, The Black Mamba. In Los Angeles, which was the hometown of Kobe’s team, thousands of spray painted walls and art of Kobe and his daughter can now be seen all over urban and suburban areas. All of this for a guy who threw a ball into a hoop over and over again really does show how sports can bring out the best in people.

Personally, this event was very hard on me. I am not a Los Angeles Lakers fan, (Kobe’s old team), and never was. However, I had so much respect for this guy. I live so much of my life based on one of his own quotes, “Everything negative- pressure, challenges, -is all an opportunity for me to rise.” Kobe definitely was one of the people that inspired me to play basketball, and the fact that he actually did inspire me in some aspect of my life makes it that much more upsetting knowing that he is gone.

Still, a year after this unexplainable event, it just doesn’t seem right to anyone that Kobe Bryant and his daughter were taken away from this world at such early and unexpected times. While the Bryant family will forever be torn by this event, the least anyone can do on Kobe’s anniversary is offer their prayers and appreciation, basketball fans or not. Kobe may be gone but he will, for sure, never be forgotten. This event was a strong example to always appreciate what, or who you have, because you never know what would happen in this confusing world. After all the memorials, tributes, and love that has been shown in the past year to this man and his family, his legacy will not end, but only grow stronger for generations of basketball fans to come.

Rest in Peace, Mamba…