J.J. Angelo & DuVonte’ Beard – 23Sports

We lost on icon on January 26th, Kobe Bean Bryant was 41 when he tragically passed in a helicopter crash. It is a heart-wrenching moment in history that we will not soon forget. By “we” I do not mean MUTV, not sports fans, not the basketball community, nor the NBA, I mean everybody because that was Kobe’s impact… the world.

Bryant was a proud owner of five championship rings, two Finals MVP trophies and one regular season MVP with it. Perhaps his greatness possession, though, was his family. He was a husband able to withstand the greatest of adversity – in classic Kobe fashion. He was a father to four girls, passing on not just talent or knowledge but his mentality.

The world painfully lost one of the Bryant girls on that fateful Sunday. Gianna Bryant, the heir apparent to basketball dominance in the Bryant family.

The world’s memory of Kobe Bryant will forever be found in his mentality – the Mamba Mentality. What Bryant himself described as “doing more than the next guy and then trusting in the work you’ve put in when it’s time to perform.”
Words without action are empty and Bryant never once let his mouth outrun his. Bryant was hard work personified regardless of what stage of life he was in.

This made the Mamba Mentality a cross-cultural phenomenon, able to reach far beyond the basketball court. Anyone can claim success, but when push comes to shove it’s not words that prove your identity, it’s what you do to back them up.

I find it ironic that Kobe’s best-known move is the fade-away shot because, besides on the court, there was nothing that he faded away from. Never one to leave things to chance, Bryant thrived with seemingly the weight of the world on his shoulders.

It’s hard to fully word or comprehend what the loss of Kobe Bryant truly means because it’s not just one thing. His loss means a multitude of things to a multitude of people. He was a family man, a businessman, an artist, a visionary, a hero.

The absence of Kobe Bryant will be impossible to fill but his legacy can be continued. That task is on our shoulders, dependent on our willingness to embrace the Mamba Mentality.

January 26, 2020 marks the date of a tragic accident significant to sports fans across the world. Fans from Australia to North America are saddened about deaths caused by the crash of a helicopter in Calabasas, California. The bodies of John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Christina Mauser, Ara Zobayan, Sarah Chester, and Payton Chester were confirmed dead from the crash. Along with these seven, the confirmation of the death former Laker, Kobe Bryant (age 41), and his daughter, Gianna Bryant (age 13), struck an emotional breakdown for millions of sports fans across the world.

Kobe Bean Bryant, a five-time NBA Champion, is widely recognized as one of the greatest basketball players in the history of the game. Over the course of Bryant’s twenty-year career, he accomplished a ton of accolades. Some to mention are being an 18-time NBA All-Star, a member of twelve NBA All-Defensive and fifteen All-NBA teams, a two-time scoring champion, regular season MVP, two-time NBA Finals MVP, and two-time Olympic gold medalist.

Bryant’s career was defined by his success and ability to score the basketball. He finished his illustrious career in a fashion that no one else ever has; by scoring 60 points against the Utah Jazz in his final professional game at Staples Center.

Kobe Bryant’s success was inspirational to many, from athletes to typical employees. Bryant’s play on the court influenced many to play basketball for the first time. Fans admired him greatly. The biggest takeaway from Kobe Bryant and his success as an athlete is his mental determination. He called it the “Mamba Mentality.”

The hearts of his fans and beyond were saddened by this news on Sunday morning. Fans and fellow professional athletes took to social media to express their love and care for Bryant. Soon after his reported death, respect and honor was given in various sporting events.
Soccer star Neymar honored Kobe by scoring a goal and jogging to the camera to show twenty-four with his fingers. NFL Pro-Bowlers performed Bryant’s signature jab step and jump shot after a sack as a celebration. The biggest tribute of them all came from the NBA and its players.

Teams took 24-second and 8-second violations to honor Kobe Bryant’s life. Some would switch and wear his jersey numbers in-game. Others would change from them, making the unspoken statement that the numbers should never be worn in honor of him.
Los Angeles Lakers guard Quinn Cook will have his number changed to 28 to show his respect for Kobe’s number, 8, and Gianna’s number, 2. Also honoring Gianna was the University of Connecticut’s women’s basketball team, laying a number 2 jersey over a seat on the bench. GiGi was determined to be a member of the Huskies.

The tragic accident is being mentioned on almost every live radio and television broadcast. Wednesday night, TNT hosted a tribute for Bryant’s death with athletes Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith, Reggie Miller, former teammates Shaquille O’Neal and Dwyane Wade, and general manager Jerry West on set to discuss their love, feelings, and precious moments with Kobe.

The world was drastically struck by surprise with the news of Kobe and Gianna Bryant’s deaths. Forever, Kobe and Gianna will be remembered and honored for everything they stood for and represented; hard work, dedication, love, and joy.