• Marques Taus

Remembering the Legend: Kobe Bryant

In wake of the passing and memorial of Kobe and Gianna Bryant along with seven other passengers, I figured the great Kobe ‘Bean’ Bryant deserved a piece dedicated to his impact on my life, as well as many others.

The moment I received the news that Kobe Bryant had passed, I immediately felt my stomach drop. This information was just something I couldn’t seem to grasp. I felt as though there was no way a person of Kobe’s reputation could pass the way he did in the blink of an eye. I could only think of how I would break the news to my grandfather, an avid Lakers and Kobe fan, whom I was visiting for lunch that day. I then began to recall all the memories I had of Kobe dunking on two seven-footers or jumping on the scorers’ table when he won the 2010 NBA Finals. My grandpa began to recite the greatest moments he had seen of the Kobe-Shaq era, too. He added the moments of him and my dad watching the magical Laker ‘three-peat’ from the years 2000-2002, saying “It was f*cking insane to see that duo dominate every single night!” We even spent part of the day looking at some of the 1999-2003 Lakers’ highlights.

My family and I never missed a moment of Kobe’s career, despite me being a fan of the Clippers. I’d watch countless highlight videos from his rookie year leading all the way to his final game. Being a Clippers fan, or any differing team supporter for that matter, it’s safe to say that Kobe’s impact on basketball culture is limitless. There wasn’t an area that he didn’t cover over the course of his life. He was a McDonald’s All-American, two-time NBA MVP, 18-time all-star, four-time all-star MVP, and even an Oscar winner for his short film “Dear Basketball.” He touched thousand’s of passionate basketball fans, you can see in the many pictures outside the Staples Center how much the city of Los Angeles cared for his existence; there were thousands of flower arrangements, basketballs and trash cans filled with crumpled paper for all those who took pride in shouting his name whenever they threw trash away. Not to mention his iconic shoes, so iconic in fact that I couldn’t help myself but buy a pair with spare birthday money a few years back.

This doesn’t even scratch the surface of how Kobe affected the basketball community. One thing I will never forget was his intense work ethic, which left a lasting impression on me so that I will never settle for anything short of excellence.

By Nathaniel Butler (NBA)

read more about Marques here

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