January 26, 2020, will be remembered as a day when the Earth stood still for the basketball world. Kobe Bryant, The Black Mamba, KB24, one of the greatest players in the history of the game died in a helicopter crash. We pay him a tribute by looking back at his greatest achievements.
Bryant was famous for his work ethic, and the so-called Mamba mentality, which made him push himself to the limit. He was not just an outstanding basketball player, but also an exceptional person. We can certainly say that we were lucky to be alive when Kobe played basketball
Let’s recall some of his greatest achievements:
- 5-time NBA champion: 2000, 2001, 2002, 2009, 2010;
- 2-time NBA finals MVP: 2009, 2010;
- NBA regular season MVP: 2008;
- 18-time NBA All-Star: 1998, 2000-2016;
- 4-time NBA All-Star Game MVP: 2002, 2007, 2009, 2011 (shared the 2009 award with Shaquille O’Neal);
- NBA Slam Dunk Contest champion: 1997;
- 4th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list (33 643 points);
- 20 seasons spent at one team: Los Angeles Lakers;
- 2 Olympic gold medals: 2008, 2012;
- Won the 2018 Oscar for Best Animated Short Film (as a producer of Dear Basketball, based on his own story).
We will also remember his 81 points scored on January 22, 2006, in a game against the Toronto Raptors. It’s the second-most points scored in an NBA game. Kobe made 28 out of 46 shots, and added another 18 free throws!
…or the rollercoaster game against the Phoenix Suns when Kobe tied the score with 0.7 seconds left, and then made a buzzer-beater in the overtime to give the Lakers the win.
…or his last game against the Utah Jazz. The funny thing about that season is that the Golden State Warriors broke the record for the best regular-season performance in the history of the NBA, finishing with the record of 73-9, and at the same day Kobe did something even more extraordinary, playing just like in a Hollywood movie. 60 points in his final NBA game at the age of 38!
Mark Cuban (Dallas Mavericks owner) announced that his team retired No. 24 jersey. Kobe’s legacy transcends basketball, and our organization has decided that the number 24 will never again be worn by a Dallas Maverick – Cuban said in a statement. NBA teams decided to honour Bryant by taking 24-second and 8-second violations.
Kobe was a gigantic figure for the league, one of the greatest players in history. More than that, he will always be remembered as a good man.
The last public words of Kobe were a tweet written to congratulate LeBron James on surpassing him on the NBA all-time scoring list.
Continuing to move the game forward @KingJames. Much respect my brother 💪🏾 #33644
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) January 26, 2020
We will miss you Kobe, and today it makes no difference if we’re fans of Boston, Clippers or Chicago. Today all of us are Lakers.