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Two years without Kobe Bryant – NBA

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Two years have passed since the tragic death of the historic Los Angeles Lakers player Kobe Bryant. A career that led him to glory, made him a legend and will be remembered by the basketball world as one of the greatest figures in NBA history.

By Facundo Di Bona (@facudibona).

Premature death enlarges the figure of those who are already legends and that is what happened to Kobe Bryant on January 26, 2020, when world sport, not just basketball, was shocked by fatal news that is still hard to assimilate today.

The legendary former Los Angeles Lakers player died at the age of 41 when he was heading by helicopter through the city of his life with his daughter Gianna, 13, and seven other people, including some teammates from the little girl, Mamba Sports Academy .

The aircraft that was to take them to a girls’ basketball game ran into bad weather and it was so foggy that police helicopters had been grounded.

The pilot, who ignored the flight regulations in bad weather, decided to take off and at the height of Calabasas, about 50 kilometers from Los Angeles, in a mountainous area and with very little visibility, the helicopter crashed into the ground at high speed after having gained height to avoid the clouds.

It was 9:45 on the West Coast and shortly after the news, typical of a bad dream, began to spread with the speed that these things are transmitted through social networks.

Knowing Kobe’s behavior on the track, it seemed impossible that something like this could happen to him and, among the immortality that these types of superstars make us believe, Paul Gasol himself left a sentence that explains it:

“You think he could have kicked himself out of the accident, that’s how invincible he was”.

Bryant was the fourth highest scorer in NBA history, won five rings, was selected 18 times for the All-Star Game, won two gold medals in the Olympics, scored 81 points in one game and 60 in the After his retirement, he took free throws with a ruptured Achilles tendon and fought against the pain a thousand times.

His departure was a very hard blow that humanized an idol who, like all those who have his condition, Maradona, Pelé, Jordan, Brady, Messi and LeBron James, acquire a fictional immortality in the fans.

Kobe always had Michael Jordan as a mirror and managed to get an entire generation to take him as an example of inspiration.

The title won by the Lakers in the Disney World bubble that same year 2020 was full of references to the franchise icon, but The Mamba Mentality even crossed the lines of the court to become the philosophy of numerous athletes from many specialties.

Thousands of people crowded outside the Staples Center to fill the sidewalks with flowers, candles, drawings and dedications.

The Los Angeles Lakers jerseys with 8 and 24, the two numbers he wore, were seen all over the world, tattoos with his face multiplied and hundreds of murals were painted with the figure of the player.

The two numbers he wore in his career have a historical fact: he is the only player for whom two numbers were retired in the same franchise.

The 8 and 24 were symbols of a career with impressive data: with the first he played 707 games and with the second 639, he achieved 16,866 and 16,797 points with each one, he had 8 and 10 All-Stars, and he won three and two rings, respectively. .

His funeral, in the pavilion where he achieved so many feats with the Lakers, was like that of a head of state.

The tears of Vanessa Bryant and Jordan moved the world, so the one who for many is the best player in history said:

“When Kobe died, a part of me did too”.

In just two years there have been important changes, his wife was involved in legal issues for the large fortune that corresponds to collect, the accusation of negligence that could be verified on the pilot of the helicopter and the pathetic performance of the Los Angeles police in spreading pictures of Bryant’s body.

The Lakers roam the NBA and some of his performances would probably blush the legend like they did with Magic Johnson.

In these modern times, the Staples Center is now called Crypto.com Arena, although many know that it should be named after the two jerseys that are hung from the sky of the pavilion as a reminder of the successes and legacy left by Kobe Bryant.


 

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