The Basketball legend and a great humanitarian left us tragically in a helicopter crash with his daughter and Nine other people.
Kobe Bryant was a five-time NBA champion and played for the LA Lakers throughout his 20-year career and retired in April 2016. He is considered one of the greatest players to have ever lived, A true baller. In his professional career, Bryant scored 33,643 points at an average of 25.0 PPG, took 7,047 rebounds at an average of 5.2 RPG, and 6,306 Assists with about 4.7 APG.
He was often cited as one of the most dangerous scorers in the history of the NBA and was often compared to the legend, Jordan. There are no limit to the laurels Kobe achieved in his mesmerising 20-year long career in Basketball, to name them;
- 5-times NBA champion; 2000, 2001, 2002, 2009 and 2010.
- 2-times NBA Finals MVP; 2009 and 2010.
- NBA Most Valuable Player (2008)
- A whooping 18-times NBA All-Star; 1998 and from 2000 to 2016.
- A 4-times NBA All-Star Game MVP; 2002, 2007, 2009 and 2011.
- A total of 11-times, All-NBA First Team; 2002, 2003, 2004 and from 2006 to 2013.
- 2-times All-NBA Second Team in 2000 and 2001.
- 2-times All-NBA Third Team in 1999 and 2005.
- 9-times NBA All-Defensive First Team in 2000, 2003, 2004, and from 2006 to 2011.
- 3-times NBA All-Defensive Second Team in 2001, 2002 and 2012.
- 2-times NBA scoring champion in 2006 and 2007.
- NBA Slam Dunk Contest champion in 1997.
- NBA All-Rookie Second Team in 1997.
- Number 8 & 24, officially retired by Los Angeles Lakers.
- Naismith Prep Player of the Year for 1996.
- First-team Parade All-American in 1996.
- Fourth-team Parade All-American in 1995.
- McDonald’s All-American for 1996.
- He won the Gold Medal in Olympics Basketball in 2008 and 2012.
- He also won Gold in FIBA Americas Championship in 2007.
According to sportswriter Forbes, “Kobe was the most alienated superstar the NBA had ever seen.” However, he led the Lakers to two championships after the departure of Shaquille O’Neal and was more like a mentor to his teammates than he had been earlier in his career.
Let’s take a look at what others had to say about the legend’s unfortunate passing away;
- “No words to express the pain I’m going through”, “I love you and you will be missed,” wrote Shaquille O’Neal, who played alongside Bryant at the Lakers between 1996 and 2004.
- “The greatest competitor I have ever gone up against and played with”, said Deron Williams, who won an Olympic gold alongside Bryant.
- “A legend on the court”, “just getting started in what would have been just as meaningful a second act”, Former US President; Barack Obama.
- Eight-time Olympic gold medallist sprinter Usain Bolt said he could not believe the news.
- “Kobe, We love you brother, We’re praying for your family and appreciate the life you’ve lived and all the inspiration you gave.” Rapper Kayne West.
The impact and void Kobe left on the world will take quite some time to get over from. However, Basketball won’t be able to cope up anytime soon.