Remembering Kobe
and How his Death affected the Game

Legends never die, which is why the legacy of Kobe Bryant will live on forever.

Former NBA player Kobe Bryant

Published By: News Desk
at 12:00 p.m. January 26, 2021


5 NBA finals championship titles, 2 NBA finals MVPs, 7 Western Conference titles, 2 Olympic gold medals, 4th NBA all-time scoring list, 18 All-Star game appearances, 12 NBA All-Defensive Teams, 15 All-NBA teams, and 1 memorable 81-point game. This is the legacy of Kobe Bryant, one of the greatest basketball players to ever walk the face of the earth. At the 1-year anniversary of his untimely and tragic death, we review what impact his legacy has left on the game.

As Lebron James once said, "Legends never die" and that is definitely the case when we review the impact that Kobe Bryant has left on the game of basketball. In retrospect to his career, he is revered by some as the second coming of Michael Jordan, and like Jordan, Bryant only had one goal when he exited the locker room and made his way to the court inside of a packed arena with tens of thousands of cheering fans. His one goal can be simply said using one word. WIN.

Gianna "Gi Gi" Bryant (Left)
Kobe Bryant (Right)


A day before his untimely death on January 26, 2020, Bryant posted a message on his instagram account to arguably the best player in the world, Lebron James. "On to #2 @kingjames! Keep growing the game and charting the path for the next," the message said. For those of us who have studied Kobe Bryant and his ingenious game over the years, we know all too well that such a message that would be interpreted by a lay observer as a kind and friendly gesture of passing the torch, was in reality a directive from the black mamba himself advising James to carry on his legacy while under the 17 purple and gold banners that hang with pride in the Staples Center and symbolizes the Lakers Dynasty. "The Lakers franchise isn't what it is today without Kobe's presence," Lebron said in a 2020 interview 6 months after his death, and he's right. During his career with the Los Angeles Lakers Bryant built a culture of winning. However, the culture he created of winning was not something that he only imposed when the franchise had winning regular season records and seemingly certain to hold up the Larry O'Brien at the end of the playoffs, but Kobe's culture of winning also applied to seasons when the Lakers had no chance. This is evidenced by the 81 points Bryant dropped on January 22, 2006, while playing the Toronto Raptors in a season that ended with an unimpressive record of 45-37. Under the culture that Kobe Bryant left in the Lakers locker room, regardless if a season is promising, or likely to fail, the goal remains the same, WIN THE GAME.

Now that Bryant has passed, every future leader of the Lakers locker room will have big shoes to fill. Although a great in his own right, Lebron is already feeling the pressure to carry on Kobe's legacy which so far he's delivered after securing a 2020 NBA Championship title for the franchise. That championship would be the first since Kobe last delivered the city of Los Angeles an NBA Championship title in 2010. But make no mistake, since his passing Kobe's impact on the game is not only limited to the Lakers franchise, but other players in the NBA have paid more attention to Kobe's legacy since his death. Bryant has set an example to fellow NBA players on how to be a loving father to their daughters, and perhaps accepting that players do not necessarily need a son in order to pass on their NBA experience. Bryant was the coach of his daughter's basketball team, and could even be seen in viral videos personally teaching Gianna the game of basketball. After his death players may also be influenced by other post career achievements like when Bryant took home an Oscar for "Dear Basketball", which he was awarded at the Oscar's ceremony for best animated short film. One thing for certain is that the legend of Kobe Bryant will continue to live on so long as the game of basketball exists. Therefore, as we continue to honor his dedication to perfection of his craft, discipline in practice, or even the way he carried himself off the court and cemented his legacy as an all-time great, we shall find solace in waking up every day with his "Mamba Mentality," and aspiring to live our lives with a desire to be a little more like Kobe.

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