Basketball superstar

Kobe Bryant – basketball superstar and global icon

The “Black Mamba” was set to receive the holy grail of basketball – entering the prestigious Hall of Fame later this year

The news of retired basketball superstar Kobe Bryant killed along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and others in a helicopter crash has shocked the world. Bryant was set to receive the holy grail of basketball – entering the prestigious Hall of Fame later this year.

Instead, the world will mourn the tragic and untimely death of a one-time basketball player in a generation, five-time National Basketball Association (NBA) championship winner, former NBA MVP 11 times. All NBA first- teammate, 18 times All Star, 9 times All NBA Defensive Team and owner of other achievements.

For all of these accolades, Bryant, who wanted to be called the “Black Mamba”, will be known to be closest to the best basketball player of all time – Michael Jordan. Bryant was Jordanesque (both were 6’6 ” tall and weighed 220 pounds for much of their careers) in most aspects of his game – he could score in paint, shake rims with dunks, shoot all three. from the perimeter, hitting contested shots with a defender’s hand in his face, taking over during clutch moments and playing closer, increasing his defensive intensity as needed and bottling up opposing wingers; it all contributed to his five championships with the only team he played for – the Los Angeles Lakers. He was also Jordanesque in his manic intensity, whether that was showing up for training and inspiring his teammates to improve, using the NBA off-season to add new aspects to his repertoire, working on his fitness. in order to compete and play exhausting. minutes game after game and in his dedication to winning everything.

Bryant failed in comparing Jordan on one key metric – efficiency. His dedication to doing everything has led him to take outrageous shots and complain about hogging the ball and despite his huge success, he hasn’t really climbed Jordan Peak. That honor may soon belong to current great Laker LeBron James, but Bryant’s fame and popularity was as high as that of any other NBA superstar, and will remain so. Bryant’s legacy firmly establishes him among the top twelve NBA players of all time, with some placing him closer to the Top 6 – a spectacular achievement for a player who joined the league just after graduating from high school and stayed with the Lakers his entire career.

O’Neal-Bryant dynasty

Kobe’s game has also evolved over the years since entering the NBA. In his desire to emulate Jordan, he started out as a shooter – who could forget his aerial shots against Utah Jazz in the 1997 playoffs? Under coach Phil Jackson, however, Bryant softened and embraced the team concept and quickly formed a dominant partnership with force-of-nature center Shaquille O’Neal. The O’Neal-Bryant dynasty lasted until 2004 with three consecutive championships between 2000 and 2002. Bryant and the Lakers were down until Jackson returned as coach in the late 2000s and forged another winning team. , this time revolving around the fame of Bryant. and leading to two more championships in 2009 and 2010.

Mourners gather in Microsoft Square near Staples Center to pay tribute to Kobe Bryant after helicopter crash kills retired basketball star in Los Angeles, California, United States

Mourners Gather in Microsoft Square near Staples Center to Honor Kobe Bryant After Helicopter Crash Kills Retired Basketball Star, Los Angeles, California, USA | Photo credit: Reuters

In the latter phase of his career, Bryant had his critics who focused on his return to “hero-ball”, seeking to do it all on his own, instead of adhering to Jackson’s winning recipe, the ” Triangle Offense “. But even Bryant’s outrageous take and attempt to outbid the field had their payoffs. With defenders drawn to him, Bryant’s misses increased the likelihood of an offensive rebound for his teammates – something teammates like Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom have feasted on.

Awesome and courteous

Off the pitch, the brilliant and courteous Bryant was a global icon. Growing up as a child in Italy, where his father Joel “Jellybean” Bryant played professional basketball, Kobe was fluent in Italian and Spanish, which helped him reach legions of fans in Europe and Latin America. . His image suffered a huge blemish after he was accused of raping a 19-year-old in 2003. Bryant has always maintained that he only had consensual sex. After the accuser refused to testify in court, he reached a civil settlement and apologized for the actions, but the incident damaged his legacy both in and outside the court. The incident coincided with a tumultuous season for the Lakers in 2004, which broke up with the departure of fellow superstar Shaquille O’Neal.

In its twilight years, the Lakers were a much weaker team and Bryant played out his career after suffering a devastating Achilles heel injury. His last game with the Lakers at 38, however, was memorable – he scored 60 points in a win over the Utah Jazz even as the Lakers finished with a dismal 17-65 record.

Academy Award

After his retirement, Bryant focused on venture capital, investing in different companies such as media, data and technology and also won the Oscar for best animated short, “Dear Basketball” in 2018. Her 13-year-old daughter Gianna was also an aspiring basketball player and her life was tragically cut short along with her father’s yesterday.

Vanessa Bryant, from left, Kobe Bryant, Natalia Bryant and Gianna Maria-Onore Bryant at the world premiere of

Vanessa Bryant, from left, Kobe Bryant, Natalia Bryant and Gianna Maria-Onore Bryant at the world premiere of “A Wrinkle in Time” in Los Angeles. Photo file. | Photo credit: AP

For a basketball fan, Bryant’s lasting memory would be the shooting guard dribbling the ball across the field, overrun by defenders, passing the paint and shooting a midrange elbow jumper for a two pointers over time. elapsed. The midrange pull-up was his go-to shot, one he could probably take blindly. He was also adept at taking fades (another Jordan signature) and using sleek footwork and vertical hang time to save space and score on the edge. A man passionate about ballet grace and robotic intensity, it is unfortunate that his life was cut short by a tragic accident.

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