The sports world mourns a legend. On Sunday, 41-year-old basketball star Kobe Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash in California. An obituary.
April 13, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. In his last NBA game, Kobe Bryant throws 60 points against the Utah Jazz and holds a legendary farewell speech at the Staples Center, which he concludes with these words: “Mamba out”. He coolly drops the microphone from his hand, the curtain falls. The campaign immediately became part of American pop culture, and even Barack Obama paid homage to him shortly afterwards. As President of the United States, he said at the traditional media dinner: “Obama out”.
The episode helps to understand the importance of Bryant. The shape of light continued to radiate beyond basketball, in which he won every award and title; NBA championships and Olympic gold. His rise was meteoric – he had grown up in Italy, the parents named him after the gourmet beef of the same name from Japan, which they had discovered on a menu.
Kobe Bryant dies in a helicopter crash
Bryant wanted to be a footballer, he adored AC Milan. But he found basketball, his father’s sport – and became the best professional of his generation. Three players have shaped the NBA more than everyone else in the last thirty years: Michael Jordan, LeBron James, and Bryant; that is the flight altitude. He led his beloved Los Angeles Lakers to five titles, he never left the club in two decades of career.
Bryant stood for aesthetics, for professionalism and persistence to self-abandonment, for dogged ambition too. Joviality was alien to him for a long time; Unlike Jordan, he was therefore hardly loved anywhere outside of Los Angeles. People respected his accomplishments, his records. But the masses stayed at a distance – or even met him with suspicion. Anyone who did not like Bryant believed himself confirmed when Phil Jackson, the Lakers’ longtime coach, wrote in a book that Bryant was “not coachable”. But “too stubborn and selfish”. And then there was the low point in 2003 when Bryant was charged with rape by a 19-year-old Colorado hotel employee. The trial ended with a settlement.
But the longer the career lasted, the more popular Bryant became. In his last season, he was adopted in each stadium with an ovation and good wishes for the time after the resignation. Bryant seemed to be enjoying the new phase of life to the fullest. With a fortune of just under $ 600 million, he had long since completed his wealth creation, which makes everyday life easier. He wrote an autobiography and founded a media company that publishes sports fantasy books for children. In 2018 he won an Oscar for his animated short film “Dear Basketball”. After the award, he said it would mean more to him than all the merits in professional sports.
He also took care of his four daughters. He coached the 13-year-old Gianna’s basketball team and went to a game with her on Sunday. But the private helicopter caught fire and crashed in Calabasas. All nine inmates died, Bryant was only 41 years old.
The news shocked the sports world and the USA more than anything in a long time; There were millions of condolence messages on Twitter alone. In front of the Staples Center, where his statue will eventually stand, thousands of people put down flowers and candles. The Dallas Mavericks announced that Bryants number 24 will no longer be awarded in the future. It is possible that the homage will be carried out across the league. This has never happened in the history of the NBA. It probably says all about Kobe Bryant, about his legacy: that he continues to push the boundaries even after his death. Mamba out.