Millions of basketball fans, fellow athletes, celebrities and the world at large mourned the tragic death of retired Los Angeles Lakers all-star, Kobe Bryant alongside his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna and seven others in a helicopter crash in Southern California on Sunday.
The 41-year-old was more than just an athlete. He was an entrepreneur in the sports industry and passionate about social causes including disadvantaged youths, children, education and mental health. Above all, he inspired a generation of basketball players both locally and internationally.
His appeal to the younger generation and aspiring athletes lies in what is popularly known as the “The Mamba Mentality”, a winning formula which constitutes hard work, sheer discipline, a passion for winning and dedication for the game of basketball. Despite the 2003 sexual assault case, what remains unquestionable is Bryant’s dedication to basketball. Within the basketball circle, Bryant will always be regarded as a fierce competitor and demanding teammate.
In honour of his life and legacy, we feature some of his memorable quotes.
On overcoming challenges
On perseverance and hard work
On leadership and making a difference
On striving for success
Check out some popular facts and figures that made Kobe Bryant an icon in the world of sports.
- 33,643 — Career total points. Placed fourth all-time. He was third going into Saturday before LeBron James surpassed him.
- 20 — Seasons in the NBA, all with the Los Angeles Lakers.
- 18 — Times he was an NBA All-Star.
- 2 — Olympic gold medals for Team USA.
- 60 — Points Bryant scored on the final night of his career.
- 2 — Numbers in the same team at the time of his retirement, ie No. 8 and No. 24.
- 1 — Animated short film written and narrated by him based on a letter he wrote to The Players’ Tribune announcing his retirement from basketball in 2015.
His daughter, Gianna (popularly known as “Mambacita”) a talented basketball player in her own right was also determined to carry on her father’s legacy.
Rest in peace, Black Mamba and Mambacita!
*Featured image sourced from businessinsider.com