Bryant’s Legacy


Ben Eskenazi

DEATH OF A LEGEND: The loss of Kobe Bryant on Jan. 26 continues to affect many.

Karma Nashed, Staff Writer

On Jan. 26, a tragedy was released to the public. Basketball legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and seven other individuals were killed in a helicopter crash.

At about 9:06 am PST, Kobe and Gianna departed from John Wayne aiport. They were headed to a basketball game at Kobe’s Mamba Sports Academy in Newbury Park, California, where Kobe was scheduled to coach Gianna’s team. Although the weather that morning was particularly stormy, Bryant and eight others had been given special permission to fly on a Sikorsky S-76B helicopter despite the foggy conditions, according to a report from the New York Times. The chopper was flying quite low, according to CNN, and it did not have a flight data recorder (FDR) because helicopters in the U.S. are not required to carry them. Consequently, the exact time of the helicopter crash remains unknown. However, the helicopter was discovered in Calabasas, where it had caught fire near the intersection of Las Virgenes Road and Willow Glen Street, about 30 miles from Los Angeles, CA.

Not only was he a renowned basketball star, but Kobe is also remembered for working to influence his daughters’ generation through his sports and storytelling, as stated by an NBA article. He inspired hundreds of thousands of individuals to work hard and strive to reach their goals. Upon Kobe’s death, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said that “for 20 seasons, Kobe showed us what is possible when remarkable talent blends with an absolute devotion to winning. He was one of the most extraordinary players in the history of our game with accomplishments that are legendary, but he will be remembered most for inspiring people around the world to pick up a basketball and compete to the very best of their ability.”

Vanessa Bryant, Kobe’s wife and Gianna’s mother, shared a photo on Instagram about three days after the tragedy, captioned; “My girls and I want to thank the millions of people who’ve shown support and love during this horrific time. Thank you for all the prayers. We definitely need them. We are completely devastated by the sudden loss of my adoring husband, Kobe — the amazing father of our children; and my beautiful, sweet Gianna — a loving, thoughtful, and wonderful daughter, and amazing sister to Natalia, Bianka, and Capri.”

“Kobe was the whole reason I started playing basketball,” freshman Finn Kronstad said. “I remember my dad would always show me clips of him playing when I was younger. He inspired me when I was 4 years old, and he’s been my number one role model ever since then.”

“I’ve never been a huge fan of basketball,” sophomore Mia Conter said. “But I know that Kobe’s death has a huge impact on the basketball community, his fans, and obviously his family. Although I didn’t keep up with his life, I remember seeing tweets of him and Gianna attending basketball games together, and they were both always smiling in the photos I’d see. I’m sure he was an amazing father and husband, and I can’t imagine the pain his family is facing right now.”

The death of Kobe and Gianna itself can be viewed as a reminder to those who are affected by it. Junior Nadeen Radi said “I think the loss of Kobe and Gianna can teach us to appreciate the people around us. Say ‘I love you,’ more, express affection to the individuals you hold close to your heart. Because you never know how much time you have left with them, and the loss of someone dear to you occurs within seconds. It all happens so fast.”

Although the loss of Kobe, Gianna, and the seven other individuals was sudden and shocking, Kobe’s legacy will forever live on. His influential work and progress is something that will not be forgotten by his fans. Currently, a decision is being made about possibly changing the NBA logo to a visual outline of Kobe.

“I think it’s a good idea to change the NBA logo to an outline of Kobe Bryant,” said senior Jacob Lessing. “I’m sure all members of the NBA would want to honor Kobe every day and remember his legacy when they see him. It would also be a good way to teach future generations about Kobe and his work ethic. The messages he displayed to our community revolve around practice, persistence and determination. I think it’s very important that these morals get passed on to future individuals, and even associate these morals with Kobe.”