It was a surreal feeling to be scrolling through Twitter at 2:31pm this afternoon. At the top of my feed there was a retweet of a TMZ article reporting the death of NBA Legend Kobe Bryant.
Like most people, the five stages of grief set in starting with denying these reports and assuming TMZ had bad sources. It was not long until more sources confirmed what everyone refused to believe. At that moment, I had to accept that one of the greatest to ever play the game had left us at the young age of 41.
The day only got worse as it was confirmed that Kobe’s 13-year old daughter Gianna was on board as well. Also onboard was the pilot and six othe passengers. There were no survivors in the crash.
Kobe leaves behind three other daughters and his wife Vanessa Laine Bryant.
The former Los Angeles Lakers SG had an incredible 20-year NBA career where he amassed 33,643 points as well as 1,944 steals, 6,306 assists, 7,047 rebounds, and a career field goal percentage of 44.7%.
Bryant will be on the Basketball Hall of Fame Ballot this year, but the carpet for Kobe’s induction had been rolled out long before. He is a guaranteed first-ballot Hall of Famer and he will likely be joined by other first ballot guys in Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett. Not to take away from those two other great players, but that induction weekend will be heavily dedicated to the memory of Kobe Bryant.
Kobe will go down as one of the greatest basketball players in history, but he truly was a transcendent athlete. Many young kids today and future NBA players have certainly modeled their game after the Black Mamba, but many other non-basketball players have been motivated by his Mamba Mentality.
Bryant’s passing certainly goes beyond basketball as many people all over the world will mourn the 5 time NBA Champion.