Los Angeles Lakers legend and Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant appallingly died in a helicopter mishap over a year prior, however on Monday the NBA people group chose to commend his life on what might have been his 43rd birthday.
Perhaps the best player ever, Bryant won five titles, one MVP and made 18 All-Star Games during his 20-year profession. His achievements and hard working attitude made him a top pick for fans as well as for youthful players who needed to emulate his example.
We saw his impact recently after the NBA Finals when Giannis Antetokounmpo discussed the amount Bryant affected his vocation.
“It started almost like a joke at first,” Antetokounmpo said of seeking a challenge from Bryant. “He was in I think a Nike ad and he was sending challenges to players… and I was like ‘let me just shoot my shot’… And he was like ‘MVP.’ But at first, I was like joking, I didn’t think he was going to respond to me. But when he did, he made me believe. I’m like, ‘Kobe Bryant thinks I can do this? I can play at a high level and lead my team and win MVP.’ I had to do it.”
“I had to work hard,” he continued. “And not necessarily not to let him down. I had to work hard because people believed that I could do it, and that’s the thing. I’m a people pleaser. I don’t like letting people down. When I re-signed with Milwaukee, that’s the main reason I re-signed, because I didn’t want to let the people down and think that I don’t work extremely hard for them, which I do. But to be able to accomplish those things in this period of time is crazy. It’s unreal. I can’t believe it.”
That deference was again obvious on Monday, as players across the alliance honored one of the game’s symbols.
In May, Bryant was posthumously death drafted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame alongside peers like Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan and Tamika Catchings. Bryant was introduced by his godlike object, Michael Jordan, and his significant other, Vanessa, conveyed a discourse in his place.