This past Sunday the world lost a basketball legend of many, Kobe Bryant. An innovator of the game, an idol, a mentor, a friend, a husband, and a father. Early Sunday morning Kobe Bryant along with his daughter Gianna Bryant, Alyssa Altobelli, John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Christina Mauser, Payton Chester, Sarah Chester, and Ara Zobayan were all killed in a fatal helicopter wreck.

Kobe Bryant hugging his daughter Gianna Bryant before warming up at the NBA all star game in 2016.
Kobe Bryant hugging his daughter Gianna Bryant before warming up at the NBA all-star game in 2016.

With word of the passing of Kobe Bryant and others taken on the crash, social media platforms exploded with posts regarding his passing. Former Lakers player Shaquille O’Neil took to social media explaining his pain in learning the recent loss.

“There are no words to express the pain I’m going through now,” O’Neil said. “…My friend my brother, my partner in winning championships, my dude, and my home. I love you and… I’m sick right now!”

As the news struck the world by surprise many took it upon themselves to honor Kobe in many different ways. The numbers 24, and eight appeared on endless feeds with the hashtags “gone but never forgotten” and “gone too soon.” His death not only impacted the lives of those around him, but it also impacted basketball fans and athletes all admirable of his innovations.

“When I first heard of Kobe’s passing I didn’t want to believe it was true my heart hurt for his wife and other daughters,” said Alexia Brannon, a senior at Klein Cain. “I can’t imagine losing a husband and daughter in the same day.”

While many were saddened by the death of Bryant, others found the motivation to continue playing for him. The phrase “For Kobe” also struck social media and was retweeted across the globe. After hearing recent news of Kobe, Zion Williamson, a professional basketball player in the NBA, spoke on his passing in an interview with ESPN. He went on explaining how much Kobe meant to him as a child and sent his prayers to the Bryant family in hopes that would bring comfort to them.

“Kobe meant a lot to me growing up I had both jersey 8 and 24… top 2 of all time,” Williamson said. “You just hate to see what happened to him and his daughter… I just hope the world will give the Bryant family the support they need.”

In an interview done by Access Exclusive in 2018, Kobe talked about his excitement in his daughter’s future basketball career. Throughout the interview, Kobe talked about how much Gianna had grown, and how her work ethic would take her far.

“The basketball gene I’ve completely and fully passed on… I enjoy watching her play because you get to see the growth,” Bryant said.

Though Kobe had notably passed on the basketball gene to Gianna, in his prime time he was the Lakers leading all-time scorer, he brought home 5 championships and in 2008 was named the league MVP according to NBC. While Kobe was recognized for his game during his time, his death made him a forever icon, and he will be forever be remembered as the Black Mamba who changed the lives of millions and changed the game.