By Chris Murch (@_chrismurch)
Words will not do justice for what Kobe Bryant did for millions of people around the world. He was the figurehead for the NBA at a time when the game was growing into a global entity and is a big reason for why the game is where it is today.
He was the torch bearer after Michael Jordan retired for leading the game into a new era and did so with ferocious competitiveness, a will to win that was unmatched and a motivation to be great that everyone should try to emulate. If this world had more Kobe Bryant’s, it’d be an immensely better one.
He was someone who cut zero corners in his mission to obtain success in his field and knew that in order to reach peaks in his profession, you had to put the work in. No one put more work in than Kobe. There are countless stories from players and coaches of his tireless will to be the best and the best he was for many years.
Kobe’s greatness was infuriating. As a lifelong Clippers fan, it was doubly irritating. He was a thorn in the side of many many NBA fans, yet he demanded respect because he earned it every single night on the floor. No matter how many times he hit a dagger against your team, no matter how many times he embarrassed your favorite player and killed your teams dreams — you were witnessing a man who poured his entire life into being a great basketball player and you knew deep down that he deserved everything positive coming in his basketball career.
There will never be another
pic.twitter.com/f0ayZ1wmZ3— ???????????????????????? ???????????????????? (@Cavsanada) January 26, 2020
“Legend” doesn’t give Kobe Bryant proper accolades for who he was on the court and off. After his retirement in 2016, Kobe poured himself into being a doting father and motivational and inspiring coach not only for his daughters basketball teams (I’d be remiss in also not mentioning that Kobe’s 13-year-old daughter Gianna was among the nine victims of the helicopter crash as well. R.I.P.) but players of all ages. He was an advocate for womens basketball at all levels and was always there to lend a hand or advice to players.
He took pride in helping the new generation of basketball players try to be their best selves, a surprising event given the bloodthirsty nature of his play in the league. A league that he took over because of his competitiveness and “i’m going to destroy you” mentality. In retirement, Kobe was changing the minds of those who had disparaged him throughout his career, simply because he ate teams alive and destroyed hopes and dreams. Now, he was helping to cultivate dreams and better everyone around him. He was selfless in his motivation to make greatness a disease that infected people throughout the world.
If more people had #mambamentality, this world would be fucking amazing. We here at This League send our deepest condolences to the Bryant family and to all fans of Kobe. His legacy will be pervasive in it’s positivity until the end of the time.
Bigger Than Everything
Jayson Kleinman (@jayfromR)
He was bigger than any team, he was bigger than basketball, he was bigger than sports. Kobe Bryant began his career as a boy and ended it as a myth, and we as fans will never forget the moments of magic that he tattooed on our brains.
Kobe Bryant was the reason why millions of fans fell in love with basketball. Kobe Bryant is the reason why I’m writing about basketball today. Kobe Bryant was an idol, and Kobe Bryant will always be remembered.
Even now, writing this, I can’t quite believe that he’s gone, and it’s hard to put these thoughts together while I feel so numb. But then I hear Kobe’s voice in my head, telling me that the job isn’t done, that it’s never done. That no matter how hard you’re working, someone is out there working harder, so you need to push yourself to be great.
That there’s greatness inside of us all and it’s our responsibility to reveal that greatness to the world.
Rest in Peace Black Mamba, Bean, #8 and #24, the GOAT. Rest in Peace Kobe Bryant, you will never be forgotten.