There are a few players that come to mind when I think of impact in the NBA. You may be thinking oh it’s LeBron James However true that may be, I wanted to focus on one special player in particular Kobe Bryant, the black mamba.

Rather than this be a biography, I wanted to give my thoughts on what I feel the mamba meant to basketball. Kobe was larger than life. Kobe was your idol’s idol. Kobe wasn’t just a basketball player. He was bigger than that, he was special. Which is why it hurts me to speak about him in the past tense even though his tragic passing was already three years ago.

The Legend

Now, at the risk of sounding overly dramatic, I did not know the Mamba. I never had the pleasure meeting him but many of us felt like we did. He was a constant presence in our lives for many years even longer than this writer has even been alive. I wasn’t born to see the Shaq and Kobe days I am too young to remember Kobe Bryant 82 point game against the Toronto Raptors at home in the staples center (thank God YouTube exists) but when I do remember, vividly is him bringing his all to every game you ever played in. He was even quoted in a press conference saying that the only bad thing about his final season is that the team sucked (Those were his words not mine.)

That just goes to show you what a champion he was. He consistently strived for perfection in anything and everything he did. That’s what made him great he elevated those around him. He was a true leader in the locker room. It’s only fitting that his daughter Gigi also had the same passion as him, he was everywhere when it came to her.

From being seen at her school gym, supporting her during her basketball games like every other parent would for their child to personally practicing with her at the hoop outside of their home in Los Angeles, him and Gigi’s bond was unbreakable. Sadly, they were even together during their last moments of life on this earth.

The Black Mamba off the Court

Rather than this be a sad story, I wanted to focus on what Kobe did not only for the game of basketball, but also on a larger scale as well. He is an Oscar winner for an animated short film entitled dear basketball. He is the first former athlete to ever be a recipient of such a coveted award. He also started a foundation called after school all stars to help impoverished children in 13 US cities.

He also made $1 million donation to the call of duty endowment. This endowment sponsored by the video game, and its company helps veterans of the US military Ease into the return of civilian life after their military service has ended. I can go on and on, but this will be a two hour article if I even tried.

In closing, I hope that what you take away from this article is not sadness but rather looking back on the life well lived. While it may have been short, he certainly accomplished a lot in his 41 years of life.

Rest in peace mamba and Gigi.