“It’s the one thing you can control. You are responsible for how people remember you—or don’t. So don’t take it lightly.” - KOBE BEAN BRYANT ~ Our hearts are saddened to hear of tragic news of one of NBA’s own retired basketball legends Kobe Bryant, who was killed in a helicopter crash on Sunday morning. News of this event has sent the entire world into complete shock and grief. Basketball enthusiasts from around the world will remember the life and legacy of Kobe Bean Bryant. Kobe was a basketball legend, family man, father, philanthropist, and businessman.

Even more heartbreaking was the deaths of his 13-year old daughter, Gianna Byrant who was traveling with her father along with John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli Alyssa Altobelli, Christina Mauser, Sarah Chester, Payton Chester and the pilot Ara Zobayan who also perished in the crash in the hills of Calabasas, California. The group was on their way to the Mamba Academy in Thousand Oaks for a basketball tournament. According to the Los Angeles Times, the investigation into the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven others aboard the Sikorsky S-768 will probably focus on foggy weather conditions. The Times further reported that visibility in the region was so poor at the time of the crash, which occurred shortly before 10:00 am Sunday morning that the Los Angeles police and County Sheriff’s department had grounded their helicopters.

Bryant spent the early years of his life in Italy where his father played professional basketball and was also a part of the NBA. Bryant entered the NBA at age 17, directly from high school. He spent his entire basketball career with the Los Angeles Lakers as a shooting guard and forward. He nicknamed himself Black Mamba. Kobe was more than just basketball. He won an Academy Award for an animated short film (2018). Kobe also released a rap album, runs his own media production studio and a major investor in BodyArmor. Kobe was a mentor to so many and inspired entire generations of people. In the beginning of LeBron James career, Kobe Bryant would give LeBron James a pair of his tennis shoes at a 2002 NBA All Star game. The night before this terrible crash LeBron surpassed Kobe for the No. 3 spot on the NBA's all-time scoring list and Kobe would congratulate him.

Fans and friends from across the country responded with tweets and honors reflecting on their personal interactions with Kobe Bryant. People from all lifestyles are struggling to comprehend the unexpected passing of Kobe and the other eight victims. No one can deny the greatness of this legendary athlete. Kobe’s persistency, professionalism and athleticism were a contributing factor in his success as a basketball player.

Kobe Bryant remained with the Los Angeles Lakers through the good and the bad for twenty years, assisting in the greatness of the team. He helped to make the Lakers a better team every year of his career. Even more noteworthy is the work he accomplished off the basketball court through various help systems and organizations.

Kobe Bryant was a well-received spokesperson and encourager on and off the basketball court. Kobe Bean Bryant was born August 23, 1978 in Philadelphia, Pa. He passed away January 26, 2020 in Calabasas, California. Kobe is survived by his wife Vanessa Laine Bryant, his three other children Natalia, Bianka and Capri. Our prayers are with Kobe Bryant’s Family as well as the loved ones of the passengers who perished in the crash. "Have a good time. Life is too short to get bogged down and be discouraged. You have to keep moving. You have to keep going. Put one foot in front of the other, smile and just keep on rolling." — Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant’s Highlights

  • 5-time NBA champion

  • 18-time NBA all star

  • 2-time NBA Finals Most Valuable Player (2009–2010)

  • NBA MVP (2008)

  • 18-time NBA All-Star (1998, 2000–2016)

  • 4-time NBA All-Star Game MVP (2002, 2007, 2009, 2011)

  • 11-time All-NBA First Team (2002–2004, 2006–2013)

  • 2-time All-NBA Second Team (2000–2001)

  • 2-time All-NBA Third Team (1999, 2005)

  • 9-time NBA All-Defensive First Team (2000, 2003–2004, 2006–2011)

  • 3-time NBA All-Defensive Second Team (2001–2002, 2012)

  • 2-time NBA scoring champion (2006–2007)

  • 2-time Olympic gold medalist (2008, 2012)

  • NBA Slam Dunk Contest champion (1997)

  • NBA All-Rookie Second Team (1997)

  • Los Angeles Lakers all-time leading scorer (33,643 points)

  • Naismith Prep Player of the Year (1996)

Photos associated with Kobe Bryant are courtesy of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Getty Images.

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