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MAMBA Forever: In Loving Memory of Kobe Bryant

By January 31, 2023News

In Memory of Kobe Bryant - AIO BotThe year 2023 marks three years from one of the most tragic incidents in the entire world. In the past three years we’ve lost a lot of people including, but not limited to: Peter Moore, Virgil Aloh, Sandy Bodecker, and so much more. Especially with the global pandemic. However, the loss of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, in 2020 was by far the most tragic of them all.

We write this piece in honor of Kobe, his daughter, and the seven other people involved in the incident. In remembrance of a seemingly invincible man, the innocence of youth, and a lost future. We offer our deepest condolences to Kobe’s family, and to the families of all those included. And hope that, after three years, they’ve somehow found some kind of peace.

Mamba forever, Mamba lives on, and even more the Black Mamba legacy continues.

Who was Kobe Bryant?

It would be very unlikely that anyone doesn’t know who Kobe Bryant is, even before the incident. Kobe played for 20 years in the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers. He started off as a 17-year-old basketball player and went on to become a five-time champion. He is also a Nike signature athlete with his own signature shoes with the Swoosh. In fact, his sneakers are some of the most popular NBA sneakers in the league to this day!

Kobe featured in 18 NBA All-Star games, he was a four-star MVP and the overall League MVP in 2008. Some of our favorite serves from Kobe include 81 points in a game against the Raptors in 2006. This was one of the best performances in all of NBA history. And, we can never forget that the Black Mamba reached three consecutive finals from 2008 to 2010.

The man was and still is, a legend.

Kobe Bryant was one of the most iconic global athletes of our time. Of all time actually! In 2016, Bryant retired, at the age of 35,  as a Hall of Famer and was just beginning a new chapter. His passion for basketball continued on through becoming a coach for a youth basketball team that his daughter was on.

But, that was cut short when a helicopter crashed in 2020; killing him (at age 41), his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, and seven others.

The Crash

It was a foggy California morning on January 26th, 2020. Kobe, Gianna, John Altobelli, wife Keri, daughter Alyssa, and, Cristina Mauser boarded a Sikorsky S-76B helicopter with pilot Ara Zobayan. Kobe’s wife, Vanessa, was not amongst the boarding that morning.

They were all flying from John Wayne Airport in Orange County to a basketball tournament at the Mamba Sports Academy. This was the academy that Kobe Bryant founded in Thousand Oaks.

However, sadly, they never made it.

The helicopter had crashed on a hillside in Calabasas, just 14 miles away from their destination. And, after a year-long National Transportation Safety Board investigation, it was found that the crash was all due to a pilot error. The pilot had taken a very ill-advised decision to fly through clouds – a violation of federal standards.

At the end of the day, this crash took the lives of nine people. But, it also left countless lives in utter despair. Kobe Bryant left behind him a wife, and three girls – Natalia, 18, Bianka, 6, and Capri, 3. In March 2021, Vanessa opened up to PEOPLE magazine saying,

“This pain is unimaginable [but] you just have to get up and push forward,” she said in PEOPLE’s Women Changing the World issue. “Lying in bed crying isn’t going to change the fact that my family will never be the same again. But getting out of bed and pushing forward is going to make the day better for my girls and for me. So that’s what I do.”

In short, the Kobe Bryant legend was not supposed to end this way. But, he lives on. And, will forever be remembered.

Forever Remembered, Forever Mamba
Kobe Bean Bryant
August 23, 1978 – January 26, 2020