In Memory of the Black Mamba

A reflection on the life and legacy of Kobe Bryant

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In Memory of the Black Mamba

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 13:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 13: Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers

Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 13: Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers

Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 13: Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers

Anthony Wright, Sports Caster

In 2010, before I could truly fall in love with the game of basketball, I watched a man about 6’6, wearing the number 24 carry his team to victory. That man was none other than Kobe Bryant. Averaging 28, 8, and 4 in a seven game series against the Celtics, he led his team to victory and was the MVP of the series. With heavy hearts worldwide, billions grieve the loss of the infamous “Black Mamba”, formally known as Kobe Bean Bryant, whose life was tragically lost in a helicopter crash. The Black Mamba was more than a basketball player, more than a father, more than just a man, more than our hero, he was an icon and a symbol of hope for billions of people worldwide. Anyone who watched him play fell in love with the game of basketball. He influenced billions to take to the court and play with the intensity of a 6’6 guard with uncanny athleticism. He lit the flame for generations of young men and women across the world to get up in arms and take to the court. This loss leaves the world standing still; it feels like a piece is forever missing from our hearts.

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The Black Mamba’s influence stretched further than basketball. He touched the heart and soul of everyone who happened to feel his embrace. He taught us what it meant to be dedicated to a dream, to shoulder the grind, to give your mind, body, heart, and time to your dream.  Giving us programs like the Mamba League and the Mamba Sports Academy, he was able to open the doorway to allow the youth to dream and apply that same work ethic that he had into their own lives. Does it hurt to lose your hero ? Of course. He changed the way we chase our passions. He transformed the mindset that we have when obsessively wanting to win and be the best at whatever we do. Instead of grieving, let’s rejoice for the things Kobe left behind: the games where he filled our hearts with a fire that could only quenched by the thirst of actual competition; the moments we celebrated his pure talent and skill from our couches, shooting something into the trash just to yell “KOBE!” as tears of thankfulness rolls down your cheek. Let’s not live in this moment of sadness or dwell on the losing our hero. Let’s rejoice for the life that brought us so many happy moments. His was a life that gave us the best parts of our childhood, that sold us a dream, that gave us Mamba mentality.

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