It seems almost impossible, but it has been a year since the world suffered the devastating blow of losing basketball legend Kobe Bryant.
The 41-year-old LA Lakers player, affectionately known as Black Mamba, and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna were tragically killed when the helicopter they were travelling in crashed in Calabasas, California on January 26, 2020. Seven other people also perished in the accident.
Actor Michael B. Jordan wrote, “Don’t think I could recap a year any clearer from the moment I heard the news until today. Appreciation of family. Of time. & purpose is heavy on my mind this morning. Sending love and healing energy to the Bryant family. Rest in Power. You’ll never be forgotten.”
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Former New York Yankee’s baseball player, Alex Rodriguez shared a heartfelt Instagram post remembering his friend captioning his video tribute with, “I can’t believe it’s been one year since we experienced the tragic loss of my brother, my friend, Kobe Bryant. It still doesn’t feel real. I miss our conversations.
“I miss texting about family, business, sports and music. I miss him. I’m also thinking about GiGi and her tragic loss, along with the other passengers on the plane. To all the families and friends who were affected by this tragedy, we are all thinking of you. Today, and really everyday, remember that our time is short. Hug your loved ones. Call a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while. Work hard and remember to smile. RIP, Kobe. Love you, Mamba.”
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Meanwhile, actor, activist and rapper Ice Cube kept his tribute simple, yet poignant writing, “We all miss you Kobe”, in accompaniment to a photo of himself with the NBA superstar.
We all miss you Kobe pic.twitter.com/JId1kict8K
— Ice Cube (@icecube) January 26, 2021
Bryant was an important figure both on and off the courts with a legacy that will live on in the hearts of his fans, friends and family. Here are just some of the numbers that made up Bryant’s life and career.
Was the age Bryant was when he entered the NBA.
Is the number of years Bryant spent playing for the LA Lakers.
Is the number of NBA championships Bryant helped the Lakers win.
Is the number of All-Star games he was selected to play in.
Is the number of regular-season games Bryant played in his career.
8 and 24 —
Were Bryant’s jersey numbers. He is the only player in league history to have two jersey numbers retired with the same team. Bryant changed numbers, going from No. 8 to No. 24, midway through his career.
Was the age he was when he was tragically killed in a helicopter crash.
Is the number of centimetres tall the NBA legend was (6 feet, 6 inches).
Is the number of years he was with his wife, Vanessa. The two met in November 1999 when Vanessa was just 17 years old and married in April 2001.
Is the number of months Kobe and Vanessa knew one another before becoming engaged.
Is the number of daughters Kobe and Vanessa shared. Natalia was born January 2003, Gianni in May 2006, Bianka in December 2016 and Capri in June 2019.
Is the number of gold medals the famed athlete won, in 2008 and 2012 at the Summer Olympics, as a member of the US national team.
Is the number of Academy Awards Bryant won. He was the first African-American person to win the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film (for his film Dear Basketball) and the first former professional athlete to be nominated and to win an Oscar in any category.
Is the number of people who packed the Staple Centre in Los Angeles for Mamba’s funeral service in February 2020.