The Day The Earth Stood Still
Mamba is officially out, and the news shook the world to its core. Kobe Bryant was just in Philadelphia celebrating LeBron James passing him on the NBA’s All Time Scoring List. Less than 24 hours later, the news broke that Kobe Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash. He was only 30 miles outside of downtown Los Angeles. But the news that was continuously developing made the situation even more tragic. TMZ reported the news before his family even found out. ABC news reported that all four of his daughters were on the plane. Some news outlets were reporting that Rick Fox was on the plane as well. Journalism was all over the place. But during the mid-afternoon, it was reported that his daughter, Gianna Marie also known as GiGi was also among those who lost their lives in the crash. They were on their way to a basketball game at the Mamba facility in LA. Others that lost their lives were baseball coach John Atlobelli and his wife Keri and his daughter, Alyssa. Another parent and her daughter, Sarah and Payton Chester;Christina Mauser and the pilot Ara Zobayan.
He was an idol for many especially those who are apart of a younger generation. Bryant was drafted in 1996, and young adults who were born that same year, literally grew up and saw him evolve as a player. He even had kids shooting trash and yelling “Kobe” has they held their follow through and shot the imaginary ball in the basket. He is the key reason why most basketball players are playing the game. Many players in the NBA spoke on their relationship with the former NBA MVP and those apart of the younger generation, Thanked him for all that he did on and off the court. Players were seen emotionally distraught during games and on the sidelines. Trae Young was consoled by his mother right before the game after breaking down. Young was Gigi’s favorite player and when she told Bryant, he paid more attention to the young star’s game. Tyson Chandler, a former teammate, struggled to keep it together on the sideline. Bradly Beal was seen shaken up during warm ups. Head coach of the LA Clippers Doc Rivers had an emotional interview after learning the news. LeBron James was seen heartbroken after getting the call that the NBA legend and good friend had passed. Kyrie Irving was walking into Madison Square Garden for a game against the Knicks and turned right back around and didn’t play. Sportscasters were crying while doing live broadcast during games. Teams that did play in opening plays had 24 shot clock violations and 8 second backcourt violations in his honor. Many have advocated for the logo be changed from Jerry West to Bryant. Also, there has been some alleged talk about having the Western and Eastern conference wearing number 8 and 24 during the upcoming All Star game. Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban says the organization will retire number 24 in his honor.
In his 20 year career, he won five championships, 18 All-Star appearances,four All-Star MVP trophies, two time finals MVP and an Kia MVP Award. Bryant also holds the second highest points in a NBA game with 81 points aganist the Tornoto Raptors on January 22, 2006. That same season, he was averaging 35.4 points per game. He also holds the record (tied with James Harden) for the most points scored by an oppenent in Madison Square Garden with 61 points. The former Laker is fourth on the NBA’s All Time Scoring List. The numbers don’t lie and one he was able to achieve many goals, was never letting go of that “MAMBA MENTALITY”. He had no friends on the court and was always front line in the middle of a Laker war. In 2013, in a game aganist the Golden State Warriors, the man hit two free throws ON A TORN ACHILLES! I know most remember the infamous ball fake with Matt Barnes during an out of bounds play right in Bryant’s face and he didn’t even flinch. His pass to his former teammate and good friend Shaquille O’ Neal in Game 7 of the NBA Western ConferenceFinals aganist the Portland Trailblazers to clinch the game. And of course, last but not least, dropping 60 points in his last NBA game and brought out EVERYONE to see him close out his tremdous career.
Once Kobe retired, he focused on life after basketball. In 2018, he won an Oscar for his documentary Dear Basketball. He wrote and narrated the film. The Oscar winner was a short animated film based on a poem Bryant wrote in the Players Tribune in 2015. Just a few months ago, videos circulated of him directing traffic and helping victims during a car accident until help arrived. In 2018, he started Mamba sports academy, giving young men and women to be trained by the best. He also was coaching his daughter Gigi, AAU team. They were on their way to the Mamba academy at the time of the crash.
This horrific event put life in perspective. Kobe was so excited about his daughter Gigi carrying on this legacy. In an interview with Jimmy Kimmel, you can see his face lit up as he speaks about her. The Bryant family has suffered an unspeakable loss. But also the Atlobelli family has suffered a huge loss. They left behind two children as well. The Zobayn family has a lost a father, a brother, a friend. The Chester family has lost a mother and daughter. The Mauser family has lost a friend, mother, and sister. The Divah Filez send our deepest condolences to all those affected by those by this tragedy.