Born as a man, left as a legend.
People around the world mourn the loss of five-time NBA champion Kobe Bean Bryant. The death of Kobe and his daughter, Gianna ‘Gigi’ Bryant were confirmed after a helicopter crashed with seven other people in southern California on 10:00 AM (GMT -8) Sunday, January 26th, 2020.
Heartfelt tributes have been pouring in from all over the world for the man that left a crater-like impact on basketball with his game prowess and mesmerising plays.
Mr. Mohamed A. Baker, Deputy Chairman & CEO of Gulf Marketing Group, also shared his condolences.
Kobe and I shared so many special conversations about life and basketball. We had so much in common off the court. I used to love talking to him about Lakers basketball, being fathers and husbands and how much we loved Italy. I will miss those conversations and him so much. pic.twitter.com/PIv7obzr2x— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) January 26, 2020
There’s no words to express the pain Im going through with this tragedy of loosing my neice Gigi & my brother @kobebryant I love u and u will be missed. My condolences goes out to the Bryant family and the families of the other passengers on board. IM SICK RIGHT NOW pic.twitter.com/pigHywq3c1— SHAQ (@SHAQ) January 26, 2020
Kobe Bryant entered the NBA directly from Lower Merion High School through Charlotte Hornets, who then traded him to Los Angeles Lakers, where he spent his entire 20-year career as a shooting guard/ small forward.
At 34 years of age, Kobe Bryant became the youngest player in league history to reach 30,000 career points.
His career highlight was arguably in 2006, when Kobe scored a career-high 81 points against the Toronto Raptors, the second-highest number of points scored in a game in NBA history.
The Black Mamba was a phenomenal clutch shooter and had unreal athleticism under the hoop. Many of his plays have been identical to Michael Jordan, who himself has acknowledged Kobe’s skills to be legendary.
During the 2015-16 season, in his last NBA game, he became the oldest player to score 60 or more points in a game at 37 years, outscoring the entire Jazz team 23–21 in the fourth quarter, in the Lakers’ 101–96 victory.
Upon the news of his death, NBA teams payed tribute to Kobe Bryant with a 24-second shot violation as an homage to his #24 jersey. A sheer display of great respect and sportsmanship.
The 2008 MVP was lauded for his work ethic and fierce competitiveness. Many players have considered Kobe Bryant difficult to play with because of his high level of commitment and performance.
But in his latter years, Kobe embraced the team and his teammates, calling them up when they were on the road and inviting them out to dinner. It was as if the other players were now his partners, not his personal spear-carriers.
It is truly a sad day and a reminder of how precious life really is. Our hearts go out to his family and loved ones. May they have the strength to endure the loss.