home Sports The Profound Impact Of The Legend: Kobe Bryant

The Profound Impact Of The Legend: Kobe Bryant

| Samarth Ghodke | sghodke23@dtechhs.org | February 18, 2020 |

In memory of Lakers player Kobe Bryant. Drawing by Roxie Baggott

81 points in one game. 5 NBA Championships. 4 All-Star MVP Awards. 18 NBA All-Star Appearances. One of the greatest basketball players of all time, Kobe Bryant, left behind a legacy, epitomizing mental toughness he referred to as “Mamba Mentality”. It was recently reported that the retired star and his daughter Gianna were among the nine people killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. It was quite an unusual turn of effects that shocked people globally and shook the sports world.

Honoring Kobe Bryant

To commemorate the late Kobe Bryant, people have shown their respect and honored the legend through their actions. Many high school basketball teams initiated conventions such as having moments of silence for 24 seconds, representing his former jersey number. In NBA games, players chose to hold the ball, voluntarily being charged with a 24-second shot clock violation to honor Kobe Bryant; others took an 8-second backcourt violation. Throughout his career, the 6-foot-6 guard wore the jersey numbers 24 and 8. 

How are d.tech students being affected?

With the legendary role model passing away, many d.tech students are affected by this tragic event. Here are a few thoughts of our fellow students on how the all-star played a role in their lives.

According to freshman Liam Deacon (ex-basketball player), “[Kobe] has encouraged many aspiring NBA players to push their hardest when playing competitive basketball.” A soccer player on the girls’ varsity team who has also been influenced by Kobe, Sofia Levin, says that “Kobe was always an inspiration to me because of his perseverance and how he always pushed himself to be the best. He constantly worked hard and was an amazing leader. The number 24 isn’t just the number on his jersey, but the amount of hours in a day that he devoted to the game to be the best.”

Bryant’s Hardships

In the year 2003, Bryant was accused of sexual assault. The media had reported this after finding out about Bryant’s sexual relations with a 19-year-old hotel employee. This news immediately blew up and spread like a wildfire. Bryant did admit that he had a sexual encounter with the accuser, but maintained that it was consensual.  Bryant’s defense team had intimidated the opposition to the extent that the woman refused to testify in court. After the case was dropped, Kobe Bryant publicly apologized, but did not admit guilt.

Bryant’s Achievements And Important Events Throughout The Years

  • In the year 1996, Kobe Bryant completed his high school basketball career as the all-time leading scorer in the history of southeastern Pennsylvania basketball
  • Won the “Naismith Player Of The Year” award in 1996 and on June 26th, the 17-year-old was selected by the Charlotte Hornets as the 13th pick in the first round draft. 
  • Shortly thereafter, he was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers, the team he led to many championships with, for Vlade Divac.
  • Between the years of 1996 and 1997, he became the youngest NBA player to begin his pro year at age 18.  
  • In 1998, at just 19 years old, he became the youngest starter for an NBA All-Star game, and in the years 1999 and 2000, Bryant and the Hall-Of-Fame player Shaquille O’Neal led the Lakers to get a title over the Indiana Pacers, Bryant’s first NBA title.
  • In February of 2002, Bryant was named MVP for the NBA All-Star Game for the first time. He also achieved this honor in 2007, 2009, and 2011. 
  • On January 22, 2006, Kobe Bryant dropped his all-time high of 81 points. This many points single-handedly is commendable. Wilt Chamberlain is the only player to beat this with his 100-point game in 1962. 
  • On August 24, 2008, Kobe won the gold medal at the Beijing Olympics for the US Basketball team, and won his second at the 2012 London Games.
  •  A year prior, in 2011, Bryant was fined $100,000 by the NBA for making an anti-gay slur at the referee on April 12th. 
  • In November of 2013, Kobe Bryant was faced with a possibly career-ending knee injury. Despite this, he signed a two-year contract extension worth approximately 49 million dollars that covered the 2015-16 season. Everyone’s hopes slowly faded as they stopped hearing news about Kobe Bryant returning to basketball. In December, however, he returned from his Achilles injury and continued to play, somehow coming back even stronger. Unfortunately, a few days later, he broke a bone in his left knee, which caused him to be out for six weeks.  
  • On March 23rd, 2014, Bryant launched his company “Kobe Inc.” which promoted redefining the sports industry and inspiring the world. 
  • Towards the end of the year, in December, he surpassed Michael Jordan and became the third player on the NBA All-Time scoring list.  

As his final achievements approach, on April 13, 2016, his last game before retirement, he drops 60 points against the Utah Jazz, closing out his career strong. They retire his jersey numbers in December of 2017 to commemorate the great Kobe Bean Bryant.

His Impact

The death of Kobe Bryant affected people around the world. It evoked many emotional outpourings, tributes, letters, and poems from well over a thousand high-schoolers.  The legend left a void for others to continue his legacy.; Many of the people that Bryant impacted hadn’t even met him, yet he acted as a fatherly figure to them. His positive messages influenced people both on and off the court. 

Despite the hard situations presented to him in his life, he was recognized for his one-of-a-kind Mamba mentality. The Mamba mentality was about more than just basketball. According to him, “Mamba mentality is all about focusing on the process and trusting in the hard work when it matters most, It’s the ultimate mantra for the competitive spirit.  It started just as a hashtag that came to me one day, and it’s grown into something athletes — and even non-athletes — embrace as a mindset.” This message continues to push people to keep pursuing their goals, without giving up. 

Throughout his career, Kobe Bryant made a mark on the community around him. Whether it was on the basketball court or not, the man was recognized as a reputable, kind, intelligent, and mentally-tough figure that touched people’s lives and even changed their outlook on life as a whole. Many thank this basketball legend for impacting so many lives and giving purpose to many rising individuals.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *