26th January 2020 is a red-letter day for all the basketball fans around the globe, which is the witness of passing away of the legendary N.B.A player Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna shocked us all.

According to The National Transportation Safety Board, they allegedly reported  that they “found damage consistent with powered rotation at the time of impact.”

His 20-season professional career as a basketball athlete proved us all that without a shard of doubt, he is indeed the best player of all time.

According to www.axios.com, the five-time NBA champion allegedly died along with his daughter and nine others on board after his helicopter crashed due to foggy weather circumstances.

If you aren’t familiar with this legend, this article is for you.  Let us all know Kobe and commemorate his life and let all that he has achieved be an inspiration to us and continue his legacy for eons to come.

Kobe Bean Bryant was born on 23rd August 1978 to former legend Joe Bryant. A superior legacy plucked from the primal stages of his career is a loss.

He attended Lower Merion High School in Pennsylvania, USA. After graduation, he tried out and got selected by the Charlotte Hornets, and then he was traded off to the Lakers. And from then, there was no looking back for him. His career had ups and downs too. But who doesn’t? Bryant was a million-dollar success story.

As a newcomer, in his first games, he rewarded himself with a reputation as a high flyer and became everyone’s legend as he proved to be victorious in the 1997 Slam Dunk Contest. He was an All-Star by his second season and went on to win an overall of a staggering number of 18 times!

He was an epitome of professionalism. He never let his matter of contentions get in the way of his career. His feud with Shaquille O Neal was never a letdown. The pair led the Lakers on to the path of victory by winning three ensuing NBA championships from the year of 2000 to 2002.

The havoc wreaked the pillars of his success, and sales dropped for his replica jersey when Kobe Bryant was wrongly accused of sexual assault. It was a detrimental point of his success. He lost various sponsorships and, most crucially, his top boy reputation.  He was accused of sexually assaulting a 19 – year old hotel employee when he lodged in during his knee injury.

He lost sponsorships from Nutella and many other famous brands. And so forth he came forward and apologized publicly. He said :

“Although I truly believe this encounter between us was consensual, I recognize now that she did not and did not view this incident the same way I did. After months of reviewing discovery, listening to her attorney, and even her testimony in person, I now understand how she feels that she did not consent to this encounter. “

He was dragged to court, but the charges were later dropped as the accuser refused to testify against him, and the dispute was then settled privately. Bryant went on to deny the accusations which were burdened down to him. Although, he did admit that the sexual encounter was consensual.

Pick up points

Kobe Bryant had his fair share of adversities. At the age of 34, when he was determined to be a winner leading the Lakers to their victories through 2013, a great tragedy occurred to him. Our Kobe suffered a tendon injury. After recovering from the injury, he fell victim to two more physical injuries, and those traumas were irreparable. The whole world stood shocked & perplexed. The continuous deterioration of Bryant’s physique finally compelled him to retire at a primal point of his career after the 2015-16 season.

By then, his sublime career graph already exalted him as one of the youngest athletes in league history to reach a career point of 30,000. He surpassed Jerry West and was arrayed as the All-Time premier scorer in Lakers Franchise history on 1st February 2010. Adding to it his glorious ascension, he was also the first guard in the National Basketball Association to play at a minimum of 20 seasons.

Besides sports, he won the Academy Award for his animated short film, “Dear Basketball” in 2017 — Bryant or to the masses – a man of diverse talents. Kobe Bryant was a rebel, and there is no doubt in that. His National Basketball Association proposition was a game-changer itself, which shaped and made basketball the best game of all. The surprising fact is that he was only 17 at that time!

As I penned earlier, he is indeed an inspiration for the youth as well.

He stepped into the National Basketball Association games at the Summer Pro League in California. He scored 25 points in his first-ever league. Being a rookie, he managed to be a tough consort for his contrasting team, the defenders. He scored an amazing count of 36 points and shocked the West and Lakers Coach, Del Harris.

His first season as a debutante made heads turn, and everyone noticed Kobe Bryant. During the semi-finals, Kobe Bryant had to step into the leading role at the edge of the game as players like Byron Scott and Shaquille O Neal suffered wrist injuries or were fouled out. Robert Horry was benched for indulging in a physical confrontation with rival Utah’s Jeff Hornacek. Kobe Bryant performed victoriously all though he missed. Players like Shaquille O Neal appreciated him.

In his second season, he became the first runner up for the National Basketball Association’s Sixth Man of the Year Award.

Even before the feuds Shaquille O Neal and Kobe Bryant proved to be a dream team.  Legendary center guard duo led the Lakers to many victories and engraved their names in the hearts of many. Their three consecutive wins in the year 2000 to 2002 cemented their ranks in the elite classes of the National Basketball Association. The dream team led the Lakers to win 67 championships overall! He also held a National Basketball Association record for three-pointers in a game on 7th January 2003 when he played against the Seattle Supersonics.

What breaks our heart, even more, is the untimely passing of his sweetheart 13-year-old Gianna Bryant, who was also on board that fateful day. The group was allegedly traveling to a basketball game at Bryant’s Mamba Academy. From a personal viewpoint, I believe that this accident was a case of wrong decisions.

The unimaginable losses of the families were saddening. It was unwise of the aviation authorities even to permit special flying permission during foggy and misty conditions.

Off the court

Off the court, he was married to Vanessa Laine. They met in November 1999 and got married in April 2001. Their marriage was unattended by Bryant’s parents, advisors, and many others due to multitudes of reasons. They were separated for over two years, which came to an end when their first daughter was born.

Bryant’s parents opposed the couple, but they remained together until “death did them apart.” His marriage life took a toll when his wife, Vanessa, suffered a miscarriage due to an ectopic pregnancy.

On 16th December 2011, Bryant filed for a divorce and, when asked, stated that due to unavoidable circumstances, the couple had to call off their marriage. They appealed for joint custody. But, destiny had other plans. The couple via a social media post stated that they called off their divorce. And soon after, in December 2016, Vanessa gave birth to their third daughter, and in January 2019, their fourth daughter. Bryant was also known to be a die-hard fan of the Philadelphia Eagles. He also fancied football and was a fan of  Barcelona and Manchester City.

Bryant’s estimated net worth was 350 million dollars in 2016 and was ranked as the 10th most top paid athletes by Forbes.

Concurrently, various tributes were made by artists like Alicia Keys, Lizzo, etc. in honor of the late legend at the Grammys in Staples Center, where the Lakers play each season.

Besides the Grammys, the National Basketball Association also paid their last tribute to the late NBA player Kobe and his beloved Gianna.

Other than that, another infamous player, LeBron James, also seemed very heartbroken about the whole incident. He posted a picture on Instagram saying, “I’m not ready, but here I go. Man, I am sitting here trying to write something for this post, but every time I try, I begin crying again just thinking about you, niece Gigi and the friendship/bond/brotherhood we had! I just heard your voice Sunday morning before I left Philly to head back to L.A. Didn’t think for one bit in a million years that would be the last conversation we’d have.”

Various political figures also mourned over this global loss. His death showed us the strength and unity of the National Basketball Association and its fans across the globe.

Former President Obama also expressed his sorrow in a tweet :

“Kobe was a legend on the court and just getting started in what would have been just as meaningful a second act. To lose Gianna is even more heartbreaking to us as parents. Michelle and I send love and prayers to Vanessa and the entire Bryant family on an unthinkable day.”

What happened that day?

What seemed to be a typical day to Kobe Bryant was his last flight. As he pulled his Range Rover at the Orange County’s John Wayne Airport and boarded onto the helicopter along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna Bryant and several others were waiting in the waiting arena. After they all boarded the chopper named Sikorsky S-76, no one had a clue that it was Bryant’s last flight.

As suggested by the California Secretary of State business database, the helicopter was registered under the Fillmore based Island Express Holding Corp.

Devastated by the news, the world was taken aback

Around 9:45 a.m., the helicopter plummeted into a portion of a mountain in Calabasas, said to be 30 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles, and burnt to the ashes. Reports claim that the helicopter crashed due to sudden and extreme foggy conditions. Kobe Bryant, his daughter, Gianna, and the other seven passengers lost their lives in the helicopter crash. After the crash, a small bushfire around the site alerted the authorities, and paramedics were alerted. However, later it was confirmed to be Kobe Bryant’s body by using his fingerprint.

Although the main cause remains unknown due to the absence of a black box in the helicopter.

Kobe Bryant is the uncrowned prince of the National Basketball Association.

The reason behind them being idolized or the National Basketball Association is famous at all is due to the easy accessibility of these stars. The communicative level with these stars with their fans is unlikely. The game of basketball does not hide these professionals behind bulky headgears. They are upfront and are in tank tops playing for their fans. The cheer is their reward; their skills are our reward.

For a fan, they are ranking their favorite stars starting from the top to seeking for those precise analogies. But this came to eternal rest with the legend himself.

Conclusion

Kobe Bryant is a martyr. He, in his last moments of life, gave us the perfect definition of life. Life is consequential. Life is fleeting. Life and time do not wait for anyone. Kobe’s achievements do reflect that part. That one unfortunate event moved everyone from their very core and showed the world and fans alike that when it comes to basketball Kobe Bryant is still alive in our hearts.