Kobe Bryant’s One Year Passing


Vanessa took to her instagram and captioned it “The Best,” Photo courtesy of: Instagram

A year ago on January 26, 2019, the retired NBA Lakers player Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna Bryant died from a tragic helicopter crash alongside 8 others in Calabasas, California while on their way to a basketball tournament. 

Players and teams throughout the NBA paid tribute to Kobe immediately after his death. Days after the tragedy, the Lakers hosted a memorial ceremony at the Staples Center where people such as Shaquille O’Neal, Micheal Jordan, and Vanessa Bryant shared their stories about both Kobe and Gianna in front of a crowd of thousands. 

Although the passing was a year ago, people have not forgotten about Kobe, especially on Tuesday, January 26, 2020; the first anniversary of his death. His impact has been heartfelt throughout the sports industry, not just for what he did on the court but also for his work ethic and his drive, which is known as the “Mamba Mentality.

For more than a decade, Bryant was one of the greatest basketball players in the world. From 2000 to 2010, he won five championships, two Finals MVPs, and one NBA Most Valuable Player Award. Bryant’s unbelievable basketball story was already legendary in and of itself, but it took everyone to gather together in the wake of his death to finally tell the whole story. A lot of people looked up to him and wanted to be like him. His legacy carries on through those people that are still living up to him, making sure that the “Mamba Mentality” carries on.

The Mamba Mentality is a play on Bryant’s nickname, “The Black Mamba” or “Mamba.” Bryant used coined to describe the level of intense focus and relentless approach he took both in preparation and competition. It’s the phrase of just trying to be better every day.

Segerstrom student Emily Padilla was a fan of Kobe. On the first anniversary of his death, all she had to say was, “May his legacy carry on, I will always keep the mamba mentality with me because it makes me drive and passionate to pursue my career and to never give up.” Kobe made an impact on people’s lives and to this day people carry him with them because of how well he cared for his people, fans, teammates, and most of all his family.

In a series of tweets, Earvin “Magic” Johnson paid tribute to Kobe, “Thank God for allowing me to enjoy Kobe Bryant for 20 years as a great basketball player, athlete, husband, father, philanthropist, mentor, and teacher of the game to many men and women of all ages.”

Kobe’s wife Vanessa Bryant did say much but it took to her Instagram and posted a very heartfelt letter from one of Gianna’s best friends, Aubrey. She emphasized how great it felt for her to share some of the memories they had with her. Towards the end, she stated, “My Gigi is INCREDIBLE and I truly appreciate your thoughtful letter. She loves you so much. I miss my baby girl and Kob- Kob so much too. I will never understand why/how this tragedy could’ve happened to such beautiful, kind and amazing human beings. It doesn’t feel real. Kob, we did it right. Gigi, you still make mommy proud. I love you!’

It’s no secret that Kobe loved what he did. It’s what he was passionate about. To hear his friends, family, mentors, and teammates retell his story makes his fans and people that looked up to him realize that Bryant remained very much a human being throughout it all and also make them believe that some part of him will always be with us even if he’s not here.