I was tuning in to CBS to check out the Grammy’s 2020 schedule when the shocking news aired on live TV. Kobe Bryant, the basketball superstar, has just died in a helicopter crash.
He was 41.
I couldn’t believe the news myself. I immediately checked out Twitter for more updates. Soon, I realized the tragic story couldn’t be truer as one by one, I read the trembling tweets of fans and friends trending worldwide.
It was all the more heartbreaking when I learned that Kobe’s 13-year-old daughter, Gigi, also died in the crash.
As people all over LA and the states showed their love and support for the bereaved family, we, too, will recall the tender, sweet, and inspiring words that were spoken by Kobe himself — and rediscover how these unforgettable quotes remind us of his greatest accomplishments.
Whether in basketball or far outside of the court.
Obviously, we can’t list down all of Kobe’s accomplishments right here, but let’s revisit a few fast facts. Kobe was:
At one point in his career (2006), Kobe also scored 81 points in a game against the Toronto Raptors. This was the time when he said:
Kobe Bryant’s slam dunk in 2013 during an NBA basketball game against the Toronto Raptors held in Los Angeles. Photo by Lucy Nicholson/Reuters.
Indeed, the man was amazing. He may not be able to explain everything that he has accomplished, but we clearly know how he was so passionate about winning.
Here are the top 10 of the most memorable moments of Kobe Bryant’s basketball career:
While Kobe had a lot of jaw-dropping accomplishments, he was surpassed by LeBron James many, many times. Kobe was once the following until the other basketball superstar grabbed the crown:
Nonetheless, Kobe had an untiring spirit. At one point, he said:
Kobe had other accomplishments outside of the Staples Center court, where he mostly played in his entire career.
He was, in fact, the official ambassador of the After-School All-Stars — a charity organization that provided for 72,000 kids in need.
Bryant once said:
Despite a few rocky roads in Kobe’s relationship with his parents, the basketball legend was still a son Joe and Pam were proud of.
Kobe himself once said:
Pam Bryant, Kobe’s mother
I guess Kobe’s winnings and indestructible confidence had a lot to do with the support his parents had been giving him. With the life he’s lived, he is truly a son anyone can brag about.
Kobe and daughter Gianna left Vanessa Bryant, Kobe’s wife, with the three other children — Natalia Diamante, 17, Bianka Bella, 3, and Capri Kobe, 7 months — with devastated hearts.
Within Kobe’s lifetime, however, he has been a supportive (though not perfect) husband and a dedicated father to his kids.
Kobe once explained:
Indeed, in all of his achievements, Kobe has not forgotten about giving tribute to his wife and children. He’s even brought them proudly during his jersey retirement ceremony in 2017.
Photo by Harry How/Getty Images
Kobe also had notable and even “meme-able” moments with his daughter Gianna. The following clip had gone viral days before the father-and-daughter basketball duo met the tragic incident.
Kobe Bryant’s daughter, Gianna (aka GiGi), is the one sitting with her dad in this viral clip from December.— Siraj Hashmi 🐶 (@SirajAHashmi) January 26, 2020
TMZ is reporting that she was killed in the helicopter crash today along with her father and three others. So sad. pic.twitter.com/LM73m2Sz7M
Kobe did not just lie lazily after retiring from the court. In fact, he brought his undying courage and incomparable work-ethic to his business pursuits.
This made him a business mogul, a book author, and even an Oscar-winning filmmaker.
In Kobe’s own words:
Kobe’s life indeed looked so glam and victorious, but I’m sure as an individual, he has battled personal scars, too.
Such inner battles would have triggered him to say:
Now that’s the mindset of a real legend.
Kobe Bryant with his Los Angeles Lakers jersey in 1996. Photo by Susan Sterner/AP.
It looks like Kobe has now finished the job after we’ve first seen him fly during his NBA debut on November 3, 1996. At 18 years, 72 days old, he was the youngest player to appear in an NBA game back then.
Even now, we’re still grieving, and we don’t know the exact last words Kobe said during that fateful flight. No one’s eyes were left dry, either.
But on that final game night before Kobe’s retirement, he was able to utter the last words:
While it used to sound like a grand call of victory for such a long and celebrated career, those two words now ring a piece of different music in our ears.
Grief. Sorrow. Loss. Sympathy. Tears.
“Mamba out.” Kobe delivered his “last words” in the basketball arena after his final game before retirement. Image captured from ESPN.
Indeed, he’s now signed off.
But he will be remembered forever.
Clearly, Kobe’s life of hard work, determination, and success would continue sending ripples of inspiration for the generations to come.
The Black Mamba may now be fully out, but he’ll never be entirely forgotten.
As Alicia Keys put it during the selfsame-day-held Grammy Music Awards 2020 at the Staples Arena, LA, everyone is deeply “heartbroken in the house that Kobe Bryant built.”
It disheartens us to realize that sometimes, we only care about celebrity heroes after they pass. Know what other celebrities are currently fighting for. Check out this article to learn more about Joaquin Phoenix and his genuine compassion for animals. Click here to read on.