Legends never die. This is the phrase that crossed my mind when the story first broke that Kobe Bryant had been killed in a tragic helicopter accident. “Legends never die. KOBE BRYANT doesn’t die! Kobe is immune to death! He is too tough for that shit and is a guy that is supposed to be on this earth forever.” “This story is fake. It has to be!” I tried to reassure myself. “If Kobe is dead who is going to give his speech in Springfield?” Who is going to be the Mamba? Who is going to carry on his legacy?” “This can’t be happening,” I thought to myself. “NO, NO, NO!”
Unfortunately, my doubts soon crept into a dark reality. Kobe Bryant, along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and 7 others, were pronounced dead. For the next few hours, I found myself in a state of complete and utter shock. My hands felt cold. My bones felt numb and my heart felt heavy.
I then had to take a moment to step back and think. Think about all the people that this death affected more than myself. Vanessa, Kobe’s now widow. His three daughters, who now must face the burden of growing up without a father and a sister. I cannot imagine the pain nor suffering they must be going through right now. We all love Kobe, but our thoughts and prayers must now be shifted to those in whom he loved back.
If you were a kid growing up in the early 2000s, there is a good chance that you idolized Kobe. See, EVERYBODY wanted to be like Kobe because the Mamba was a man who SHAPED a culture. The way he walked, the way he talked and the way he played the game of basketball was different than what anybody had seen before. Kobe carried a swagger and confidence to himself, that was admirable. The ladies wanted to be with him and the men wanted to be like him. That’s just how it went. The name “Kobeee” could be heard through office cubicles around the nation as middle-aged men working 9-5’s would rim out of their trash cans in attempts to be just like #24. I remember as a kid playing pickup hoops in the backyard with my friends and wanting to hit the game-winning shot…just like Kobe Bean Bryant.
Kobe Bryant will be remembered for being so much more than just an iconic basketball player. He will be remembered as a playmaker who was raised on the streets of Philly, but eventually made it to the bright lights of LA. Kobe will be remembered as a loving father, who would do anything for his kids. He will be remembered as a sign of hope for the city of Los Angeles. Kobe will be remembered as a husband, a teammate, a friend, and a mentor. He will be remembered as a role model, who kids still look up to today and will for hundreds of years to come. He will be remembered as a mogul, who won an Oscar in 2018. He will be remembered for supporting the WNBA when very little did. Kobe Bryant will be a legend, who never dies. We love you Kob. May you and your daughter, rest in peace.