A mural of Kobe Bryant in Santa Monica, California.
On Jan. 26, 2020, around 1 p.m. EST, a helicopter crashed near Calabasas, California, causing a brush fire around the area. Around 30 minutes later, Thirty Miles Zone (TMZ) reported that Lakers legend Kobe Bryant and eight others, including his daughter Gianna, had been killed in a helicopter crash, and major news outlets including the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times confirmed this tragic news.
Bryant’s death shocked millions around the world, from young children who had never met him to some of his closest friends, and caused many people to examine his complex and at times controversial legacy. The news of his death also left me in shock, as all I could do was stare at the TV and wonder if this was real.
One of my favorite people to watch play basketball was Kobe Bryant, also known as “Black Mamba.” While his team, the Los Angeles Lakers, struggled in the last few seasons of his career, Bryant would take over basketball games with his beautiful shot and his ferocious defense and would never quit, bringing his team back into games by himself because he cared more than anyone. I would sit in front of my TV as a nine-year-old wanting to become a Kobe-like figure, thinking he was invincible and couldn’t be touched, even though his team would lose over half of their games each year.
I don’t have any more words for #24, so all I can say is thank you to the Black Mamba on behalf of the millions he touched throughout his career for being a graceful servant, and thank you for impacting my life in so many ways.