The Black Mamba


Riggs Baker, Contributor

On Sunday January 26 a little after 9 AM (PT) Kobe Bryant, along with eight other passengers, was involved in a fatal helicopter crash. One of the passengers was Kobe Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter Gianna. He was on his way to Thousands Oaks, California, where he was supposed to coach a tournament game. All the other passengers are as following: John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Christina Mauser, Sarah and Payton Chester, and the pilot. All of those who passed in this helicopter crash have caused a great wave of mourning, but the passing of Kobe Bryant has left everyone in a state of shock. Not only was he an amazing basketball player, but he was an amazing man.

Kobe Bryant, or The Black Mamba, was a guard for the Los Angeles Lakers and had an amazing career as a basketball player. In his career he has received 18 All Star awards. He has won 5x NBA Champ, 12 all defensive awards, 4 MVP awards, 2007-08 MVP, 2x scoring champ, 15 All-NBA awards, 1996-97 All Rookie, and 2x Finals MVP. He has scored a total of 33,643 points, which is about 25 points per game. He has had 7,047 rebounds, and 6,306 assists. From 1997-2006 Kobe Bryant was number 8 for the Los Angeles Lakers. From 2007-2016 Kobe Bryant was number 24 for the Los Angeles Lakers. Kobe Bryant retired in 2016 after playing 1,346 games as a Los Angeles Laker.  

Perhaps the only thing greater than Kobe Bryant’s basketball performance is how he lived his life. Athletes and celebrities worldwide are commenting on Kobe’s character. He was an amazing athlete, person, father, coach and husband. Kobe Bryant married Vanessa Laine in April 2001. They had four children, who were all daughters. The eldest being Natalia Diamante, born in 2003. Following Natalia was Gianna Maria-Onore. She was born in 2006, and passed away with her father in the helicopter crash. Following Gianna is Bianka, and she was born in 2016. Lastly was Capri born in 2019. Kobe and his daughter will not only be missed by his family, but all of his fans worldwide. He has made such an impact on not only the basketball community, by proving his dominance on the court, but in the community of the people.  People were always impressed with Kobe Bryant. Weather it was winning awards, business accomplishments, or even just his personal life, people always had a reason to be impressed.

Hundreds of fans gathered outside Staples Center to remember Kobe Bryant. Despite the Grammy Awards red carpet already taking place, the fans continued to show their love to Kobe Bryant and his family. Fans start drowning out the noise of the Grammy Awards red carpet with chants of “Thank you Kobe”. The Staples Center is home to the Los Angeles Lakers, which is who Kobe Bryant played for. Fans are mourning The Black Mamba worldwide. Even those who are not fans of The Lakers, or even basketball in general can appreciate the impact that Kobe Bryant made in this world. Even after his life he will continue to make a difference in this world.