A year on from the tragic death of NBA legend and the Los Angeles Lakers’ most beloved player; Kobe Bryant 41, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, and seven others in a helicopter crash on January 26, 2020, his legacy in the game still reaches far and wide.
Millions of fans around the world have continued to dedicate countless pages on social media as a shrine to keep both his memory and legacy alive.
In 1996, Bryant was the youngest player in NBA history at that time, at 18 years, 2 months and 11 days. Bryant played his entire professional 20-year career for the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA as a shooting guard. He helped the Lakers win five NBA championships, was an 18-time All Star Team and was a two time Olympic gold medalist winner for the US men’s basketball.
Bryant was regarded as one of the best players of all time as he is ranked fourth on the NBA all time scoring list. He was posthumously elected into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Kobe, nicknamed Black Mamba, was survived by his wife Vanessa and daughters Natalia, Bianca and Capri.
Kobe Bryant’s legacy went beyond basketball through the Mamba Sports Academy, a multi-sport training centre for young athletes, in which he advised, trained and inspired many young athletes .
Bryant began to hit his stride away from the court after his retirement from the NBA in 2006. In 2018, he won an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film for “Dear Basketball”, which he wrote and voiced. That year he published “The Mamba Mentality: How I Play”, going deep into the mechanics of his game.
He believed, like Nelson Mandela, whom he quoted in an Instagram post in 2014, that “sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair. It is more powerful than government in breaking down racial barriers.”