Kobe Bryant, 41, dies in helicopter crash

Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant has died in a helicopter crash in California, leaving the basketball world to process his loss.

 

 

According to sources confirmed by CNN, Kobe Bryant died a few hours ago in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California.

Per CNN, “Five people were killed in the crash on a hillside in Calabasas, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said. There were no survivors. The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash of the S-76 helicopter, the FAA said in a tweet.”

Kobe’s death comes a day after LeBron James passed him as No. 3 on the NBA all-time scoring list when he scored 33,643 points.
“Continuing to move the game forward @KingJames. Much respect my brother,” Bryant tweeted Saturday night.
Kobe was (and will remain) the NBA’s premier antagonist. Basketball’s longest-serving dictator, a man of singular drive and abrasive measure.
He ran Shaquille O’Neal out of Los Angeles, he nicknamed himself and outed himself as the best of all time. He carved the Lakers in his own craven image, financially tying the Lakers to his own ego, later deriding General Manager Mitch Kupchak for doing so.
Teammates were beyond replaceable, they were a burden. Professional nutcase Metta World Peace (nee. Artest) defined living under Bryant’s cult of personality in four simple words, “pass it to Kobe“. When the world shuffled from the ISO-heavy play of Kobe’s early noughties heyday to favour a more-democratic model, of movement, team play and spreading the floor, Bryant clung to his feudalistic mindset. He would eat first, and his subjects would watch him do it.

In 2006, he hung 81 points on the hapless Toronto Raptors, putting up a mind-boggling 46 shots and two assists. In his final outing, he scored 60, in an act of physical masturbation the public could not turn away from. He’d ultimately not eclipse Jordan in greatness, but would famously miss the most shots in NBA history.

Selfishly advancing yourself was the “Mamba mentality”, flinging rubbish into a bin was accompanied by his name.

To some, he’ll always be his 2003 sexual assault charges, to others, he’ll be a carver of bad poetry. However, as a figure in the public eye, and one who’s career was heavily documented, Kobe, to the world, is not really gone. We can leaf through the volumes of the Kobe we knew via a quick Google search. For us, Kobe became a business that closed in 2016. An enterprise that no longer makes the product we once bought.

However, the awfulness of today truly belongs to those that knew him in ways we don’t. Perishing so soon is indeed a tragedy, as one could say that he certainly earned his retirement. However, not having a retirement seems like a very Kobe thing to do.

Rest easy, Mamba.

 

 

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