“Shoot it” is what fans used to scream anytime Kobe Bryant, got the ball. In 1997, Kobe was only a teenager coming off the bench for the Lakers, but his confidence, swagger and outrageous talent had already infected basketball courts all over his home state of California.
Kobe came to the National Basketball Association to shoot the ball without apology, as he said in a video he made in 1996 when he was still in high school. No apologies to teammates, coaches, commentators or ex-Laker-Hall-of-Famers. No apologies coming into the league at 18 years old and no apologies in his final game nearly 20 years later—April 13 2016—against the Utah Jazz.
Kobe’s breed of greatness defies the laws of basketball to his own advantage. Young people saw it first. Older viewers were slower to acknowledge the game was about to transcend due to a young player’s unique ability and willpower but ultimately, they did acknowledge it. Kobe was not the first or last NBA player to do this, but he was one of the rare and few.
Kobe has made hundreds of millions of dollars playing basketball, but that was unimportant to him. What was important to him was the number of lives he was able to touch. If he had a nickel for every time a kid or even an adult, in one language or another, screamed “Kobe” and threw an imaginary basketball toward an imaginary rim and backboard, he’d probably be the richest man in the universe.
Today, we mourn the loss of one of the greatest athletes of this time, basketball player Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna, who passed away in a helicopter crash on Sunday morning on their way to a basketball game. Seven other people were travelling in his private helicopter when it came down.
Kobe’s work ethic and fearlessness and his dedication to his family were beyond inspiring. He will be missed dearly by many around the world. We pray for comfort for his wife Vanessa and his other kids during this trying time. Our thoughts and prayers also go out to the other families affected by this tragedy.
Rest In Peace Kobe and GiGi…
One last time: ‘Pass the ball, Kobe!’
Credit: Duluth New Tribune
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A fashion and pop culture writer who watches a lot of TV in his spare time. At Style Rave, we aim to inspire our readers by providing engaging content to not just entertain but to inform and empower you as you ASPIRE to become more stylish, live smarter and be healthier. Follow us on Instagram @StyleRave_ ♥