Kobe Bryant’s passing rocked the sporting world on Sunday.
The legendary basketball star, along with eight others including his daughter Gianna, died in a helicopter crash near Los Angeles.
Within minutes, tributes from fellow sporting stars, Hollywood royalty, friends and fans came pouring in.
It became very clear just how many people Bryant touched.
Even in death, his legacy will live on forever. During a 20-year NBA career, spent entirely with the LA Lakers, Bryant achieved ridiculous things.
- Paying tribute to Kobe Bryant
- The sporting world reacts to Bryant’s death
- The legendary final three minutes of Bryant’s final game
Black Mamba retired in 2016 with a host of records. Some, perhaps, that will never be broken.
Here are some of the very best things he achieved on a basketball court:
- Five-time NBA Champion (2000, 2001, 2002, 2009, 2010)
- Two-time NBA Finals MVP (2009, 2010)
- NBA Most Valuable Player (2008)
- Scoring champion in two separate seasons (2006, 2007)
- 18-time NBA All-Star in 18 consecutive seasons (1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016)
- Four-time NBA All-Star MVP (2002, 2007, 2009, 2011)
- Two-time Olympic Gold medal winner representing the United States (2008, 2012)
Bryant also holds an impressive number of personal records:
- Only player in NBA history to score at least 600 points in the postseason for three consecutive years – 633 (2008), 695 (2009), 671 (2010)
- Most Seasons played for a single NBA Franchise: 20
- Most All-NBA First Team honours won during career: 11
- Most points scored in one arena during career: 16,161 (at Staples Center, Los Angeles)
- Most games played at one arena during career: 599 (at Staples Center, Los Angeles)
- Youngest player to score 32,000 points: (36 years, 87 days)
- Youngest player to score 33,000 points: (37 years, 138 days)
- Youngest player to start an NBA game: (18 years, 158 days)
- Youngest player to be named in the NBA All-Rookie Team (1996–97)
- Youngest player to win the NBA Slam Dunk Championship (18 years, 169 days)
- Youngest player to start an All-Star game (19 years, 169 days)
That’s an incredible legacy that will rarely be matched. Bryant goes down in history as one of the greatest ever to play the game and his achievements were no accident.
Even off the court, he was successful, becoming the first athlete to win an Oscar for his Animated Short Film ‘Dear Basketball’ in 2018.
The NBA icon worked tirelessly to achieve his dream day in, day out before reaching the summit. Byrant may be gone, but his words will never truly leave us.
When you make a choice and say, ‘Come hell or high water, I am going to be this,’ then you should not be surprised when you are that.
“It should not be something that is intoxicating or out of character because you have seen this moment for so long that… when that moment comes, of course, it is here because it has been here the whole time, because it has been in your mind the whole time.”
Rest in peace, Kobe.