Legendary basketball player Kobe Bryant sadly passed away at the age of 41 in a helicopter crash Sunday in Calabasas, California. He reportedly died alongside eight others including his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna ‘Gigi’ Bryant.
Fondly remembered for his winning mentality and unquestionable work ethic, The Black Mamba, a nickname he gave to himself, had a very successful career spanning two decades with the Los Angeles Lakers. He retired in 2016.
The five-time NBA champion and future Hall of Famer’s rise to stardom and as one of the most dominant and influential athletes to have ever played the game can never be overestimated.
“For 20 seasons, Kobe showed us what is possible when remarkable talent blends with an absolute devotion to winning,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement.
“He was one of the most extraordinary players in the history of our game with accomplishments that are legendary… but he will be remembered most for inspiring people around the world to pick up a basketball and compete to the very best of their ability.”
Retiring as third on the all-time scoring leaderboard with 33,643 points, he was just recently overtaken by Lebron James whom he congratulated via a tweet hours before his unfortunate demise.
An enviable and exemplary career, Bryant, according to USA Today, retired as an “11-time All-NBA first-team selection, 2008 MVP, two-time Finals MVP, 18-time All-Star and four-time All-Star MVP who spent his 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers. He also won gold medals with USA Basketball at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and 2012 London Olympics.”
To celebrate The Black Mamba’s legacy, join Face2Face Africa as we highlight his Top Seven career plays.