Kobe Bryant 2nd Death Anniversary: Family, Friends Pay Tribute

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Kobe Bryant was a global hero. As well known in China, Spain, Italy, India, Australia, as he was in the United States. His legacy went beyond basketball, his five championship rings, his records, and his eternal love for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Kobe Bryant 2nd Death Anniversary: Family, Friends Pay Tribute
Kobe Bryant Second year remembrance

A plane crash last January ended his life at the age of 41. And it also gave a new perspective on the dimension of his name. Black Mamba: NBA star and basketball legend in the world.

“We asked you to fight, and you gave us your heart and showed us how to win. You left your mark. Your legacy goes beyond basketball. Never again will the Lakers wear either the 8 or the 24 because they are retired,” Lakers owner Jeanie Buss announced on Dec. 19, 2017, when the team retired both of his jerseys.

Kobe retired on April 13, 2016, at the age of 37 and scoring 60 points against the Utah Jazz, in a game he came from behind and won by himself. He was capable of that and more. Like the night he scored 81 points in a 2006 game against the Toronto Raptors.

Former Lakers teammate Jordan Farmar spoke to CBSLA about his memories of Bryant.

“When my oldest daughter was born, and I have a picture which we framed of him, and have in the house, of him holding her and giving her a kiss on the cheek,” Farmar told CBSLA over Zoom. “Just how much he transitioned to being the ultra-fierce competitor to this soft, healthy, worldly guy. And I think his kids and his girls softened him up and made him that way.”

Jerry West, former general manager of the Los Angeles Lakers who was responsible for bringing Kobe Bryant to the team, has shared his dismay at the NBA legend’s death two years ago.

“There are kids who loved him and looked up to him. He is more than a basketball player. A man who inspired millions, not just here in this state, not just in the United States, but all over the world. Everybody loved him. For me, that was a terrible day,” West said.

Kobe did not reach Michael Jordan’s six rings, but Black Mamba reached five. He was 18-time All Star, twice MVP in the Finals, once in the season and the third highest scorer in NBA history -only surpassed by Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Karl Malone and LeBron James-. All of this, always with the same team: the Los Angeles Lakers.

That is why, because of his past and his history, “the man who wanted to be the best basketball player he could be,” as Michael Jordan once described him, appears today in the memory of Lakers fans two years after his death. Kobe was the basketball hero who conquered the world.

“Every kid in Southern California wanted to be like him. I started playing for him and I wanted to play like him”, said Los Angeles Clippers star Paul George. “He was my Michael Jordan.”

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