By Ryan Montes
It’s been a few days since what some are dubbing the worst sports tragedy in both sports’ history and history in general, the death of NBA legend Kobe Bean Bryant. He, along with his thirteen-year-old daughter Gianna “Gigi” Bryant, seven passengers, and the pilot died tragically in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California early Sunday morning. All nine passengers were enroute to Mamba Academy in Thousand Oaks for a basketball game in which Gianna was going to be playing.
Since Sunday, thousands of extremely heartbroken fans from all over the country and world made a sorrowful pilgrimage to the Staples Center to honor the NBA legend. Fans would occasionally chant “KO-BE” in unison, and left memorabilia to show their love and support for the ambassador to their city. No matter how anyone looks at it, Kobe was more than just one of the greatest players. Many have come to think of him as a true role model, an inspiration, and hero to athletes of all sports. He was known for how much he loved his family and how he always made sure his wife, Vanessa, and their daughters had a husband and father who was there for them, especially after his retirement in April 2016.
Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti said he and the City of Los Angeles will help with the Bryant’s and the families of the other seven passengers healing process. The Lakers are going to pay for Kobe and Gianna Bryant’s funeral expenses, with a memorial and funeral date to be released in the coming weeks. Thousands are expected to be in attendance. People like Kobe Bryant are a rarity. Whether you watched him play on TV, at the Staples Center, or were inspired by how much love others had for him, his legacy of being the best person you can be, never giving up, and fighting for what you believe in and stand for will live on in the hearts of many.
He will never be forgotten.