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Long Live the Black Mamba: Basketball world shocked by death of Kobe Bryant and his daughter

On Sunday afternoon, multiple news reports confirmed the death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant. Traveling in a private helicopter in Calabasas, California, Bryant and eight others were killed when the craft went down. While Bryant’s wife, Vanessa Bryant, or their other children were not traveling with him, the couple’s 13 year old, Gianna, was counted among the casualties.

The shocking news comes a day after Bryant showed support to LeBron James, who passed him on the All-time scoring list. A tenured 20 year career with the League, Bryant was a living legend to basketball fans everywhere. It is an understatement to say that he will be missed.

Drafted in 1996, Bryant did not immediately splash on the season. However, after receiving his first NBA start after two seasons, Bryant exploded on the scene. Along with super star teammate, Shaquille O’Neal, the pair had a three peat, winning the championship in 1999, 2000, and 2001. Bryant would go on to win two more championships back to back in 2009 and 2010, earning an MVP in the process.

His most notable performance is his 81 scoring berth on the Toronto Raptors in 2006. Bryant retired from the game in 2016 by dropping 60 points on the Utah Jazz. He ended his career with five championships, one MVP, 18 All-Star selections, and two gold medals.

Kobe Bryant defined a generation of basketball fans. Young fans from the 90s and 2000s grew up watching him dominate the league. His fans adored him and his fellow competitors respected him. He stood tall in an era of hall of famers, distinguishing himself as a legend with his patented fadeway and his approach to the game.

Of course, his life was more than basketball. He was a loving husband and father who would often be seen attending a game with his daughter, Gianna. He was keen on introducing his daughter to the game he loved. Only 13, her short life also came to an unexpected and tragic end. In a such a horrific event, there is small comfort in knowing that the two had each other even to the end.

For this author, Kobe Bryant was an icon and quite frankly my favorite player. As fans, players, and friends mourn the loss of a great, he becomes increasingly clear how well loved he was. He never stopped working, never stopped fighting, and never stopped loving the game that he helped shape for many young fans. Bryant wasn’t one to let retirement sideline him. He found ways to continue to innovate and pursue his passions, demonstrating the lengths of his work ethic. Its that work ethic that made him legendary.

There is no shortage of words to explain how devastating this news is, especially for Vanessa Bryant. Our hearts, thoughts, and prayers go out to her and the rest of the Bryant family as the basketball world holds tight to his memory. The Black Mamba was an inspiration and his name will go down in history as such.

On behalf of the DoubleGSports community, we say goodbye to one of the best to ever do it. There will never be another Kobe Bryant. The world has lost a great, but the Black Mamba’s legacy lives on.

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Andre is the New York Knicks Lead Writer for
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