To many fans, Kobe Bryant is one of the greatest basketball players. However, what he left was more than that.
In May 2018, Kobe Bryant did something unique in the sports world when he became the owner of the prestigious Oscar statue. His film D ear Basketball was honored in the category of Best Animation.
In 2016, Bryant wrote the poem Dear Basketball to express his love for basketball. The poem records his journey, from a 6-year-old boy following his father’s training to the NBA legend.
Bryant (right) and the golden statue of Oscar.
Perhaps Kobe Bryant himself did not expect Dear Basketball to bring him glory in another subject: Film. The poem was adapted by filmmaker Glen Keane into a short animated film with a length of nearly 6 minutes. Now, when Bryant is permanently gone at age 41, the Dear Basketball movie is widely shared as a way for fans to express their regret for the great athlete.
Journey of glory
Before each new season, the NBA organizes an NBA Draft to recruit excellent players from high school. At that time, Bryant was always a prominent figure. In 1996, he was chosen by Charlotte Hornets and was about to have his first NBA season for this club. However, Charlotte Hornets unexpectedly decided to make a Bryant exchange for Vlade Divac with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Bryant debuted the Lakers at the age of 17.
In 20 seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers, Bryant has been selected for 18 all-star squad, the owner of the best player of the 2008 season, twice winning the MVP in NBA finals. Those are very impressive numbers.
At that time, only a few high school students were able to compete in the NBA and Bryant was the first to do so. His extraordinary talent impressed Jerry West, CEO of the Lakers. When he watched Bryant practice, West exclaimed: “Bryant is better than any player in the team at the moment.”
As West had expected, Bryant brought the glory to the Lakers, although the journey was met with many difficulties. Along with Shaq O’Neal, who was named in the Hall of Fame NBA, he helped the Lakers win the NBA for three consecutive seasons, from 1999 to 2002. Later, when Shaq left, Bryant took home two. convincing NBA titles for the Lakers in the 2008/09 and 2009/10 seasons.
In an effort to surpass the legendary Michael Jordan and gain recognition from professionals, Bryant became an important part of the Lakers and a model for many other players to learn.
In the NBA farewell match in April 2016, Bryant scored 60 points against Utah Jazz. After that, with the legacy left, Bryant’s 8 and 24 numbers were permanently suspended by the Lakers.
Bryant’s back-to-back basket in 2008, the season he received the MVP title (best player).
Bryant’s record for most points scored in a match is 81 points. He set this milestone in 2006. At the end of his career, he scored a total of 33,643 points, ranking 3rd in the list of the highest scoring NBA players, after Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387 points) and Karl Malone (36,928 points).
Last Saturday night, Bryant’s achievement was surpassed by LeBron James. In August this year, Bryant will be included in the list of Hall of Fame NBA. However, he was gone forever.
Legend overcome difficulties
Bryant holds a record of 81 points in a match in January 2006. This number is the 2nd highest in NBA history, behind Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point achievement set in 1962.
“Kobe doesn’t think about partying or anyone else. The only thing he cares about is becoming the best. He wants to surpass Michael Jordan,” Del Harris, Bryant’s former coach, told The New York Times in December 2017.
The determination to help Bryant overcome traumatic obsessions in his career. He even played when his left heel was torn at the end of the 2012/13 season, despite the advice of Gary Vitti, the Lakers longtime coach.
Bryant walked in the cheers of the fans in the final match of his career, where he scored 60 points.
“I said he got injured and couldn’t play but Kobe asked if he could bandage,” Vitti told The Times in December 2017.
The full focus on Bryant’s career also made NBA professionals question what his outside life would be like. When he retired, he left behind a work of art awarded the prestigious Oscar.
Bryant’s contributions are not limited to just 180 cm x 105 cm of the basketball court. He is a legend who inspires many sports stars like LeBron James, Cristiano Ronaldo or Rafael Nadal to rise.
Then when Bryant returned to the afterlife, people mentioned him with infinite regret and sadness. However, with this legend, he can also smile when possessing illustrious career and values that he brings.
Rest in peace, Kobe Bryant!