It was with a mixture of disbelief and astonishment that we were all surprised on Sunday with the news that one of the biggest legends in basketball, Kobe Bryant, had passed away on an helicopter accident, in the company of his daughter Gianna and 7 other passengers.
A legend that was only just starting his second life
Kobe Bryant had 41 years of age and he had retired from professional basketball at the end of the 2016 season, about 4 years ago, and he already had several projects of social nature in perspective for his life outside the courts.
Gianna, the daughter that was also a victim of the fatal crash on Sunday morning, was with her father and 7 other passengers, with the pilot included as well.
Kobe Bryant’s young daughter shared the basketball passion with her father and regularly played on a basketball team and she was aiming to become a professional basketball player, following her father’s footsteps, this time in the WNBA, the women’s basketball league.
Kobe Bryant was the manager of this young female team of his academy, the Mamba Academy, in what was one of his projects after his professional career.
A career dedicated to the LA Lakers
As a basketball player, Kobe Bryant stood out playing for the well-known Los Angeles Lakers during close to 20 years, winning 5 NBA titles on two different generations.
Firstly, he won 3 consecutive titles in the company of the mythical Shaquille O’Neal still at an early stage of his career, but then he would enter the annals of the sport when he conquered 2 more titles in 2008 and 2009 at a time where he became even more of a legend of North-American and world basketball.
‘The Black Mamba’ was virtually impossible to be guarded when he was in form and that allowed him to have some epic performances with 50 and 60 points per game, besides several “buzzer beaters” that kept shocking the basketball world for almost two decades.
Uma verdadeira lenda dentro de campo, nunca escondeu a sua luta contra a pressão e ansiedade, ao ponto de criar um alter-ego – o Black Mamba.
Vê-lo e ouvi-lo despertou-me para aquilo que é o poder da mente e moldou a minha adolescência e vida adulta dai em diante.#Kobe pic.twitter.com/TweTfH69X1
— Vera Costa Pereira (@VeraCostaPerei2) January 27, 2020
His legacy is something that will last forever in basketball and slightly in every context of life, such was the example he left as a sportsman and person.
Kobe started his career with the number 8, but he would eventually switch to the 24 in 2007, the number he would eventually maintain until the end of a career filled with successes, that still counts with 3 gold Olympic medals playing for the North-American side, besides countless individual awards.
His career started declining due to several injuries and physical problems that kept affecting his performances, besides his advancing age that took away some of his freshness, culminating on the announcement of his retirement in the year of 2016.
More than ever, the Lakers will want to be champions in 2020
The images of LeBron James crying compulsively on the arrival to Philadelphia, where the LA Lakers had played in the previous night were particularly touching, because LBJ was focused in returning the franchise that Kobe, Shaq and Magic Johnson had elevated to the status of NBA great to titles already this year, and now, there is the impression that motivation became even bigger.
LeBron James, as well as Anthony Davis, two of the biggest stars in the NBA at the moment, will certainly make everything within their power to offer that title to Kobe Bryant as sort of an homage to the late player.
In fact, the season has actually been very positive for the team of the LA Lakers, because they are leading the Western Conference with a good advantage over the closest pursuer and they seem to be in a good position of fighting for a title that has been escaping them since precisely 2010, when Kobe Bryant led the team to success on a 5th occasion.
31/12/2019 – O último encontro entre as lendas LeBron e Kobe Bryant
25/01/2020 – LeBron passa Kobe no recorde de pontuação da NBA
26/01/2020 – Kobe posta uma msg para LeBron parabenizando o grande feito
— Monthay ✠ (@Igormonthay1) January 27, 2020
According to the bookmakers, such as 1xBet, the Lakers are at the top of the list of favourites with odds of 3.85 to win the title in 2020 and, in a certain way, pay homage to one of the biggest legends in their history.
The Lakers return to action this Tuesday night for an always fierce game against their city rivals LA Clippers.
However, this will be a game that will be marked for different reasons and very emotional and touching moments are expected between players, staff and fans at the Staples Center, where Kobe Bryant shined during several years.
An irrecoverable loss
The tragic death of Kobe Bryant and his daughter is certainly a moment of huge dismay a bit all around the world, because in fact, the NBA is the most reputable basketball league in the world and that’s where Kobe astonished every fan of this sport.
Nobody was indifferent to this event, because even the more inattentive to the sport would certainly have heard of Kobe Bryant in groups of friends, international news, etc.
The world became poorer. Kobe and Gianna rest in peace, alongside the other victims, and may the family recover in the best possible way from this tragedy – RIP KOBE