On January 26, 2020, Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas (California) at age 41, along with his daughter, also the basketball player, Giana “Gigi” Bryant.
On the occasion of the beginning of the month of Black History (Black History Month) we want to pay tribute to one of the most brilliant athletes of all time. 20 professional career seasons in the NBA, all of them in Los Angeles Lakers since their election in the 1996 draft; 5 championship rings, 18 times All Star, 15 times member of the best NBA quintet, 2 times MVP in the NBA Finals, 1 MVP in the regular season, 4th highest scorer in NBA history, 2 medals Olympic gold and an Oscar… .this is the outstanding and unique in History legacy left behind by Kobe Bryant, who was already considered a legend and is now a true myth.
Son of basketball player, Joe Bryant, Kobe was born in Philadelphia in 1978, but spent much of his childhood in Italy due to his father’s career. After a few years outside the country, he returned to the United States in 1991 where he was already dazzled by his talent and skill in the game, similar to that of Michael Jordan. Next to figures like Ray Allen, Stephon Marbury, Marcus Camby or Allen Iverson, Kobe Bryant was chosen in the 1996 draft in 13th place by the Charlotte Hornets and immediately transferred to Lakers. Los Angeles became his city and the Staples center in his house. Kobe always shone with his own light and on his way to glory he was accompanied by two great players: Shaquille O’Neal,with whom, despite his well-known love-hate relationship, he won his first 3 NBA rings and Paul Gasol, the best Spanish player of this century, his right hand and a great friend, with whom he conquered 2 more championships. And since then, the rest is already history. There are not enough words that describe their potential, quality, ability and ingenuity on the court.
It is indisputable that Kobe Bryant was a player of a level superior to the rest only comparable perhaps with Abdul Jabbar or Michael Jordan. His passion was the game and his only goal was to win.The excellence of his talent was based on the discipline, professionalism and his self- demand. Hence the nickname with which he called himself “The black Mamba “. A nickname that end up becoming his alter ego, and that defines him perfectly, in line with the behavior of that powerful snake, fast, agile, aggressive, territorial and lethal. The mentality of “La Mamba “was not simply an attitude in every game, but a lifestyle, which has inspired and will continue to inspire all of future generations.
Kobe Bryant not only achieved achievements on the court, but also outside. His positive mentality and character served him, beyond basketball, to face the great personal challenges and reach his expectations as an entrepreneur. Kobe was the player, after Michael Jordan, who promoted the idea of a post-sport career at the business level, as we conceive it today. His extraordinary cunning gave him the opportunity to close deals such as the co-foundation of the Venture Capital Fund, Bryant Stibel, with his partner Jeff Stibel, whose company today has more than 2000 million dollars (1815 million euros), in assets, investing in technology, media and data. He was a shareholder in Epic Games, creator of the famous online video game “Fortnite” and invested in Nintendo, Scopely or LegalZoom, and was the image of countless and large advertising campaigns such as Adidas, Sprite, McDonald’s, Guitar Hero, NBA 2k10, Turkish Airlines, FiFa 2016 , Apple TV, Challenged Athletes Foundation or Nike, among others. In addition to getting a fabulous contract with the China Basketball Association.
Exceptional player, excellent businessman and extraordinary father of a family, he was married to Vanessa Laine Bryant, whom he met more than 20 years ago, Kobe Bryant was always clear that the fundamental thing in life is family. There is no doubt about the love he felt and proclaimed to the four winds for his daughters, Bianca, Natalia, Giana “Gigi”, who unfortunately also died in the accident, and little Capri, as well as his wife.
Even shocked by the death of Kobe Bryant and his daughter Giana we can only join the pain of the bereaved family and honor the memory of this unforgettable NBA star, remembering the famous letter that made him the first NBA player to win an Oscar with a wonderful animated film, a documentary about his life and career.
From the moment I started rolling my dad’s tube socks and shooting imaginary game-winning shots In the Great Western Fórum I knew one thing was real: I fell in love with you. A love so deep I gave you my all —From my mind & body to my spirit & soul.
As a six-year-old boy, deeply in love with you I never saw the end of the tunnel. I only saw myself running out of one. And so I ran. I ran up and down every court after every loose ball for you. You asked for my hustle I gave you my heart because it came with so much more. I played through the sweat and hurt not because challenge called me but because YOU called me. I did everything for YOU because that’s what you do when someone makes you feel as alive as you’ve made me feel.
You gave a six-year-old boy his Laker dream and I’ll always love you for it. But I can’t love you obsessively for much longer. This season is all I have left to give. My heart can take the pounding, my mind can handle the grind, but my body knows it’s time to say goodbye.
And that’s OK. I’m ready to let you go. I want you to know now so we both can savor every moment we have left together. The good and the bad. We have given each other all that we have. And we both know, no matter what I do next I’ll always be that kid with the rolled up socks garbage can in the corner; 05 seconds on the clock, ball in my hands 5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1
Love you always,
Kobe Bryant: we will always keep you in our memory, our thoughts and our memories. You will remain untouchable, intangible … and your light will shine in our souls for eternity.