A Life to Remember
Last month nine people died in a tragic helicopter accident. On January 26, 2020 the helicopter carried John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Christina Mauser, Ara Zobayan, Sarah Chester, Payton Chester and retired NBA player Kobe Bryant with his thirteen year old daughter Gianna. Kobe Bryant is known as one of the greatest players to ever play basketball and is beloved by the sports community. This accident was devastating to everyone, even those who were not fans. He will be remembered for his incredible work ethic, talent, and the love he held for his family.
Bryant played basketball his whole life and started playing professionally straight out of high school. He was drafted 13th in the 1996 draft by the Charlotte Hornets before he was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. Little did fans know that Kobe would play his entire NBA career in a Lakers jersey.
Bryant soon made a name for himself, becoming the youngest All-Star to play in the NBA. He was only 19 years old at the time. After that he would be selected to play in 16 more All-Star games during his career. Bryant continued to impress in 2006 when he scored 81 points in one game, leading the league in scoring for the year. In 2008 he was named MVP when the Lakers lost to the Boston Celtics. However, he would lead the Lakers to two successful NBA championships the next couple years. He won his second olympic medal for basketball in 2012, the first he won in 2008.
2013 was the start of many seasons ending with injuries for Bryant. He was out with a torn Achilles tendon and came back for 6 games before fracturing his knee in the 2014 season. His final injury was a torn rotator cuff that ended his 2015 season. Bryant then announced after the 2016 season he would retire.
On the Players Tribune website he wrote, “My heart can take the pounding. My mind can handle the grind but my body knows it’s time to say goodbye.”
He ended the season and his career with an incredible game, where he scored 60 points. He finished with a total of 36,643 career points, which is the fourth highest in NBA history.
After finishing his time on the Lakers, Kobe was looking forward to spending quality time with his family. He had four daughters who he loved dearly and his wife, Vanessa Laine. He even coached his daughter, Gianna’s basketball team. During that time he wrote a poem called Dear Basketball that was turned into an Oscar winning short film.
In those last years Bryant spent his time doing what he loved by being a father. He was a role model to people and players of all ages. His legacy will be that of a tremendous athlete and incredible person.