It was the first time I felt I was alive for a legends entire career and saw him die in my lifetime. He was ruthless, he was hated by opposing fans, he never gave a shit about anyone…but he was a living legend. The tragic death of Kobe Bryant was an absolute shock to everyone including myself. When I got the message that he died, I literally thought “Fake News!” right away, I then Googled it and multiple results came up and then finally the confirmation came. Kobe Bryant had died.
Kobe died that day and so did 8 others, the reason the other victims are overshadowed by Kobe is not entirely because he was a celebrity, it’s because he’s a celebrity that we felt we knew him. We saw him his whole adult life as a Laker as a public figure and one of the most recognizable people in the world. We felt like we knew him, that’s why his death is so impactful to everyone! But what made it worse, that his death wasn’t a death of a celebrity, his daughter ended up being one of the victims of this tragedy, along with other victims who were all family members, it turned from a celebrity death to a father and daughter dying, which made it more relatable and even more heartbreaking than it originally was.
While he was a legend, there isn’t one real defining moment in Kobe’s career that really solidified his legend status. It was more consistent domination, consistent hustle and consistent winning! Some could argue about his 81 point game against the Raptors and his multiple game winning shots. But there wasn’t one solidifying moment such as LeBron’s block, Jordan’s buzzer beater or Kawhi’s game 7 buzzer beater. Kobe was just Kobe every day.
I was never his fan and never been a fan of the Lakers. But his name is just as synonymous with Basketball like Michael Jordan and Lebron James. A situation like this truly requires the NBA to do something drastic to keep his legacy. Name a trophy after him, retire 24 league wide or change the logo for it to be Kobe. Either way, do something NBA, he did too much for the game’s growth and more than deserves it.