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Four years since the death of Kobe Bryant, which many believe never happened

Four years since the death of Kobe Bryant, which many believe never happened

On this day, January 26, 2020, a great tragedy occurred when basketball player Kobe Bryant, his thirteen-year-old daughter Gianna and seven other people died in a helicopter accident

by Sededin Dedovic
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Four years since the death of Kobe Bryant, which many believe never happened
© Christian Petersen / Getty Images

On January 26, 2020, the world was plunged into mourning as news spread of the tragic helicopter crash that claimed the lives of basketball legend Kobe Bryant, his thirteen-year-old daughter Gianna, and seven others. This devastating incident marked the end of an era and left an indelible mark on the world of sports.

Kobe Bryant's journey began in 1978 in Philadelphia, where his father, Joe Bryant, himself a renowned NBA player, and his mother gave him the iconic name inspired by the famous Kobe beef. The family's connection to basketball was deep, which was a good prerequisite for Kobe's eventual rise to greatness.

Today we can freely say that he is among the 10 greatest NBA legends ever. His early years included a stint in Italy, where his father played professionally, and Kobe, immersed in the culture, learned the language and developed a passion for soccer, becoming an avid fan of AC Milan.

He was often in the stands of San Siro and would visit Milan at least several times a year. Reflecting the global influence of his character and work, a square in Reggio Emilia will be named in his honor. The turning point in Kobe's career occurred in the 1996 NBA draft, one of the most talented drafts in the history of the league.

Drafted with the 13th pick by the Charlotte Hornets, Kobe was quickly traded to the Los Angeles Lakers, which was met with skepticism due to his youth. However, this move, orchestrated in exchange for Vlade Divac, proved crucial in shaping the fate of both players.

Both players exploded after those transfers, had great careers and became icons of the NBA and basketball. Despite initial doubts, the talent and determination of the then-young Kobe Bryant quickly silenced the critics. Teaming up with Shaquille O'Neal, he played a key role in returning the Lakers to the top of the NBA, securing titles in 2009 and 2010 with the help of Pau Gasol.

Bryant's accolades include being the 2008 NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP), two-time NBA Finals MVP, two-time Olympic champion and two-time league scoring leader. Although according to statistics there are better players than him, his global influence and popularity around the world made him a legend that will live forever.

Kobe Bryant© Christopher Polk / Getty Images

"Clutchpoints" singled out seven interesting facts about Bryant that are not known to the masses. From scoring 40+ points against every NBA team to a historic game of 81 points, which is the highest percentage that any player had in the total number of points of his team, and the Lakers scored 122 in that game.

Kobe's statistical power is unmatched. He holds the records for the most games with 60+, 50+, 40+, 30+, 20+ and 10+ points in the history of the Lakers, which speaks volumes for the shooting skills he had. He is still the youngest player to ever reach 30, 31, 32, and 33 thousand points.

He is the only player in the last 50 years to combine four games with 50+ points scored. He managed to do that in 2007. Kobe's nickname, the Black Mamba, derived from a deadly snake known for its aggression and agility, reflects his personality on the court.

The switch from the number 8 jersey to 24 sparked various theories, including the idea that 24 symbolized his relentless work ethic - devoting 24 hours a day to self-improvement and training. He was known as a workaholic who would often come early to training and would be the last to stay.

Another theory links the number change to the pivotal moment in 2006 when Kobe, after losing to the Phoenix Suns in the playoffs, changed the number 8 to 24. Allegedly influenced by his childhood idol, Italian player Mike D'Antoni, who wore the number 8, this change marked a new beginning in the midst of challenges.

In that game against the Suns, Bryant was constantly fouled, and Phoenix's coach was D'Antoni. Kobe Bryant's choice of number 24 has sparked another theory, which is that it was a symbolic move to convey that he was one step ahead of basketball legend Michael Jordan, who famously wore number 23.
In a poignant posthumous twist to the end of his illustrious career, a commemorative event is scheduled for February 24, honoring the numbers worn by Kobe and his daughter Gianna during their basketball endeavors.

However, the details of their final resting place remain shrouded in mystery. Burial took place at a private cemetery in Corona del Mar, overlooking the ocean in Newport Beach, California. The family, respecting privacy and cemetery rules, decided to keep the exact location undisclosed.

Vanessa Bryant, Kobe's wife, opted for this secrecy, ensuring that only the closest relatives, present at the intimate funeral ceremony, were privy to this information. The upcoming documentary series about Kobe Bryant's last season with the Lakers further shows us what kind of legacy the legendary athlete left behind.

The series promises to shed light on untold details and stories, offering a poignant insight into the basketball player's life in his final season. That season was full of pressure on the basketball player, and it was also the worst season in his career.

Kobe Bryant
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