Kobe Bryant R.I.P Legend


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LOS ANGELES – JUNE 10: Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers fields questions from the media following his team’s victory over the Boston Celtics in Game Three of the 2008 NBA Finals at Staples Center June 10, 2008 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2008 NBAE (Photo by Randy Belice/NBAE via Getty Images)

Damian Albrecht, Staff Writer

On January 26, 2020, Kobe was riding his private helicopter heading to the Mamba Sports Academy in Thousands Oak, California. The helicopter was on its way from Orange County to Thousands Oak when the helicopter crashed into the side of the mountain. The helicopter crash killed Kobe and GiGi. People who also died were John Altobelli, Kera Altobelli and their daughter Alyssa Altobelli, Christina Mauser, Sarah Chester, and her daughter Payton Chester and finally the pilot Ara Zobayan according to biography.com

Kobe married 19-year old Vanessa Laine in April of 2001. The couple has four daughters Natalie Diamante, Bianka, Carpi, and GiGi, 13, who died in the helicopter crash.

Kobe joined the NBA right out of High School. Bryant won five NBA championships and the 2008 MVP Award with the Los Angles Lakers. He passed Michael Jordan in 2014 for third in all-time scoring. He retired in 2016 and scoring 60 points in his final home game vs the Utah Jazz. In 2018, He earned an Academy Award for the Best Animated Short Film for Dear Basketball.

Kobe Bean Bryant was born on August 23, 1978, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. When his family returned to Philadelphia in 1991, Bryant joined the Lower Merion High School basketball team. He led them to the state championships four years in a row. Before the NBA, he was already working out with the 76ers. After having good grades with high SAT scores, Bryant decided to go straight to the NBA from high school. He was drafted to the Charlotte Hornets with the 13th overall pick of the 1999 NBA draft and suddenly traded to the Lakers.

In Kobe’s second season with the Lakers, Byrant was voted to be a starter for the 1998 All-Star Game, becoming the youngest All-Star in NBA history at 19. Kobe then teamed up with Shaquille O’Neal to win three consecutive NBA championships and was voted first-team all-NBA from 2002-2004. He also inked multi-year endorsement deals with Adidas, Sprite and other top sponsors. After Shaquille O’Neal left in 2004, Kobe still played brilliant basketball. He scored 81 points against the Toronto Raptors in January 2006, the second-highest single-game mark in NBA history, and led the league in scoring for the next two years.

In 2008, Byrant was named MVP and carried his team to the Finals, where they lost to the Boston Celtics. In the 2009 NBA Finals, The Lakers beat the Orlando Magic to win the championship. Shortly afterward, Bryant was a part of the memorial service to honor friend and music superstar Michael Jackson. The following year, the Lakers won their second straight title defeating the Boston Celtics.

After suffering a torn Achilles tendon in April 2013, Bryant worked his way back to the court before fracturing his knee six games into the 2013-2014 season. His 2015 season ended when he sustained a torn rotator cuff in January. 

In November of  2015, Kobe retired because of his struggles to keep up with the young players and said, “This season is all I have left to give,” according to biography.com. Kobe retired with 17 NBA All-Star game selections, an NBA MVP, five NBA championships with the Lakers, two Olympic gold medals and a relentless worth ethic. 

In November of 2015, Kobe announced his upcoming retirement poem which was named “Dear Basketball”. It was a five minute and 20-second film that debuted at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival.

In July 2003, Bryant was charged with sexual assault on a 19-year-old female hotel worker in Colorado. Bryant said he was guilty of cheating on his wife but innocent of the rape crime. The case was dismissed in 2004. He also runs an annual summer camp called the Kobe Basketball Academy in Thousands Oak, California.