Life. A simple word that we take for granted every day we walk on this planet. You can see the beauty in life just as fast you can see misery. Something that everyone desperately wishes to grasp but can never control. You claw and try so hard to hang on to something you simply can’t see. The light makes you feel a happiness that is incomparable while the dark feels like a stab in the back. The world of basketball saw the dark side of this powerful being. 

On Sunday, January 26, Kobe Bryant and nine others died on a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. The helicopter was diving up and down before eventually crashing into a hill in the foggy weather that was occurring during the flight. News spread, as the basketball community was immediately devasted with what happened. We are now past complete week since Kobe Bryant passed away, and the entire world of basketball is still holding strong throughout these tough times as we celebrate The Mamba’s life. No words can express how much Kobe has changed and impacted peoples’ lives, so here are some of his. 

“The most important thing is to try and inspire people so that they can be great in whatever they do.”

-Kobe Bryant

Kobe always would talk about hard work would lead to success and he silenced all the critics. If you ask any NBA player why they look up to Kobe they will say his work ethic. Unrivaled to anyone else in the league Kobe always was working late at night and early in the morning. He took no brakes which ultimately led to his stardom. He always was thinking about one goal though, inspire the next generation to be great. He wanted this mamba mentality to be inscribed into the youth and he wanted to make sure everyone knew they had what it takes.

Although we are still recovering from the loss of this legend, Kobe would want us to celebrate his life. Instead of grieving he would tell us to remember what he stood for and to reflect on your lives. To commemorate Kobe’s legacy, attitude, and mentality we are going to look at some of his greatest moments.

We start in December of 2009 when Kobe Bryant and the Lakers were taking on the Miami Heat. The game was back and forth as both teams matched each other play by play. It would come down to the last 3 seconds of the game to determine the winner of this grueling game. The ball would end up in the hands of the Mamba himself who dribbled the ball to the top of the key before fading away and shooting a 3. The ball would rattle off the backboard and drop as the Kobe triumphantly raised his fist in joy.

December 22, 2006, a day that will forever be inscribed in Kobe fans everywhere. It is on this day that Kobe scored 81 against the Toronto Raptors his career-high. There was no such thing as quit in Kobe Bryant’s vocabulary which is why he never stopped in this game. No one could stop him and the shots just kept falling on Kobe’s route to 81 in one of the greatest games of all time.

Fast forward a few days where the Lakers were playing the Suns in a tight matchup. With a similar situation as the game vs the Heat, the game came down to this last Lakers possession. Kobe grabbed a loose ball calmly strode down the court and put the shot the ball over two defenders at the buzzer. The crowd at Staples Center was suspended at the edge of their seats as the ball dropped through the net. As it went through you could see the Immediate joy from Kobe and the thousands of fans watching. This shot was the greatest in Kobe Bryant’s career in my opinion.

Lastly, you have the last game of Kobe Bryant’s career where he would end his career on one of the highest notes ever. Scoring 60 points to close out the end of a great run in the National Basketball Association. Finishing with a quote still ringing in many Laker’s fans voices today, What can I say, Mamba out.

As we reflect on the life of Kobe Bryant, remember one thing, Kobe was always doing the right things. He took care of his family, he worked hard for his teammates and the organization, and he helped the next generation. Kobe will not be forgotten as a basketball player, father, icon, friend, teammate, or role model. Remember to hug your loved ones and thank your friends as people will eventually perish like the legend that watches us from the heavens.

Top picture- Keith Allison, Wikimedia Commons

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