Recently, the world was violently shaken with the news that basketball legend Kobe Bryant passed away in a helicopter crash along with his daughter and seven others on January 26, 2020. This tragedy was compounded by the tragic nature of the accident and Bryant’s young age of 41. As one of the icons of the NBA, Bryant is fondly remembered by an entire generation of young basketball players who gained an interest in basketball from him with some even becoming top professional players today.
Bryant’s basketball career first began after he graduated high school in 1996. Initially drafted by the Charlotte Hornets, he was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers, and it was with the LA Lakers that Bryant began to gain fame. However, it took ten years before Kobe Bryant became a household name as he scored a career-high of 81 points in a game against the Toronto Raptors, second only to Wilt Chamberlain’s 100 points. He continued his successful basketball career with his 5th NBA championship in 2010 and two short years later, became the youngest ever player to amass a total of 30,000 points.
Bryant had the world at his feet, but his game slowly began to decline due to his age. This led him to retire from professional basketball at the age of 37 after spending 20 seasons with the LA Lakers. However, Bryant didn’t stop innovating after his retirement as he became an investor, released an album, and even won an Academy Award for his short animated film, Dear Basketball in 2018. While the world has lost an icon and Bryant will be missed especially in the basketball world, he will be remembered as a legend and will continue to be an inspiration to many aspiring athletes.