NBA great Kobe Bryant, along with eight other individuals including his 13-year-old daughter Gianna Bryant, lost his life in a fiery helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. This unbelievable tragedy happened on Sunday, January 26, 2020. The passengers and crew were on their way to a basketball game in which Gianna Bryant was to be a participant. As a testament to the kind of person we lost, the following quotes, attributed to Kobe in an online article entitled “50 Kobe Bryant Quotes Celebrating His Life” written by Vid Buggs Jr., are now shared. They provide a snapshot of how a champion views the world, and a champion he was!
“Once you know what failure feels like, determination chases success.” “The most important thing is to try and inspire people so that they can be great in whatever they want to do.” “The last time I was intimidated was when I was six years old in karate class. I was an orange belt and the instructor ordered me to fight a Black belt who was a couple years older and a lot bigger. I was scared s—less. I mean, I was terrified and he kicked my ass. But then I realized he didn’t kick my ass as bad as I thought he was going to and that there was nothing really to be afraid of. That was around the time I realized that intimidation didn’t really exist if you’re in the right frame of mind.”
“I can’t relate to lazy people. We don’t speak the same language. I don’t understand you. I don’t want to understand you.” “I’m reflective only in the sense that I learn to move forward. I reflect with a purpose.” “The topic of leadership is a touchy one. A lot of leaders fail because they don’t have the bravery to touch that nerve or strike that chord. Throughout my years, I haven’t had that fear.”
“When we are saying this cannot be accomplished, this cannot be done, then we are short-changing ourselves. My brain, it cannot process failure. It will not process failure. Because if I have to sit there and face myself and tell myself ‘you are a failure,’ I think that is almost worse than dying.” “The beauty in being blessed with talent is rising above doubters to create a beautiful moment.”
The foregoing quotes provide us with clues that Kobe apparently practiced what he preached. Kobe played for the LA Lakers his entire career, which amounted to 20 seasons. During this time, guard Kobe played in seven NBA Finals and his teams won five championships. There is an ongoing debate as to who was better – Kobe Bryant or LeBron James. Ironically, just before Kobe’s demise, LeBron James surpassed Kobe for the NBA all-time scoring list, and Kobe’s last tweet was to congratulate LeBron for this accomplishment. Even though this is the case, Kobe Bryant will go down in history as one of the greatest NBA players of all time.
Again, Kobe Bryant’s death was shocking and tragic. It was made even more so by the death of his daughter, who was in line to continue his legacy. Kobe was married to Vanessa Bryant, and together they had four girls. This is no doubt an extremely shattering blow to her. It’s hard to imagine losing not only the love of your life, but one of your daughters. She will need all of the support that those around her can muster during these trying times, and our prayers are with her and the rest of her family.
One thing is certain – death is inevitable. We don’t always know the time or the place, but it seems that we are given a certain length of time to reside on Earth. It would behoove us, therefore, to make the best use of our time while we are here and to not take anything for granted. And even though Kobe Bryant was not perfect, he apparently made good use of his tenure while he was here. He was a role model who gave back as a mentor, a sports figure and philanthropist. His accomplishments demonstrate that effort can be rewarded with results. This is an important legacy.
At this time the Crusader, along with sending condolences to Kobe’s surviving family members, are also sending condolences to the families of the others who lost their lives in this horrific accident. While the loss of a great champion like Kobe Bryant leaves a void, it is also true that the lives of the others were just as valuable. May they all rest in peace. A Luta Continua.