News/Op-Ed: People the World Over Pay Tribute to Kobe and Gianna Bryant
by R.J. Johnson
Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna Bryant’s death has slowly begun to set in for several people across the world that felt a special connection to Kobe whether they knew him personally or not.
Kobe set a standard for those who looked up to him, a drive that required consistency and work ethic. The “Mamba Mentality” is what Kobe gave to the world before he passed. His mentality was fierce, and many have decided to show recognition and give thanks for what he did for them.
Los Angeles is leading the charge in showing remembrance for Kobe. Not only with the memorial service they hosted for him, but with the constant love being shown around the city. There have been several sightings of vehicles sporting Los Angeles Laker colors, with designs relating to Kobe. Notable vehicles have been Joe Carbonara’s Lamborghini Huracan and an i8 BMW which both have designs of Kobe and Gianna Bryant along with their jersey numbers as well. Even the Los Angeles Metro busses have also given tribute, with “RIP KOBE” being placed at the head of all of them.
Plenty of Kobe Bryant murals have also gone up all over LA County, giving fans from everywhere a place to go and honor the legend. Kobe’s influence didn’t just stop in LA, it made its way across the world as well.
In Berlin, Germany on January 27th, there was a minute long moment of silence for Bryant before a game between Alba Berlin and HAKRO Merlins Crailsheim Bundesliga Basketball teams.
Not only basketball, but soccer also recognized the legend and his daughter. AC Milan, one of the best teams in Italy, had fans hold a banner in honor of Kobe and Giana Bryant during the Coppa Italia Quarter Final match.
“Rest in peace. Kobe and Gianna forever together!”, the banner read.
Another sport that you wouldn’t expect Kobe’s impact to stretch into has been tennis. Nick Kyrgios from Australia warmed up wearing a number eight Kobe Bryant jersey prior to his Men’s Singles fourth round match on day eight of the 2020 Australian Open.
The NHL also had teams remember Kobe, especially the Nashville Predators, who held a moment of silence for Bryant and the 8 others who tragically lost their lives.
Kobe Bryant was definitely bigger than basketball, and there are some people that wanted a bigger reminder of that every day. From high school and college students, to professional athletes, many have been seen getting some new Mamba ink. Players such as Shareef O’Neal, Lebron James, Anthony Davis, and Odell Beckham Jr. have all gotten tattoos to honor Bryant.
People didn’t just look up to Kobe as an athlete but as a professional as well. By being at the pro level for so long, Bryant also learned to be a great father to all four of his children.
Kobe’s mentality was not something that just stopped and started on the hardwood, it exceeded all expectations with his mindset being a key contributing factor to everything off the court. A prime example of this mentality is when Kobe ruptured his Achilles tendon, then shooting and draining two free throws instead of being carried off the court. Bryant was a warrior. One that did not back down from anything.
The time and dedication that he put into every single thing he did made it seem like he was obsessed, but Kobe was just focused. The world misses Kobe and will continue to do so.
The biggest way that the world will continue to commemorate the legend of Kobe Bryant is by yelling “Kobe!” either while shooting a crumpled piece of paper into a trash can or a ball into a basket.
Kobe Bryant was born August 23rd, 1978, and was drafted into the NBA in 1996 at seventeen years old meaning that he spent half of his life as a professional basketball player. His legacy as a man is what was important to the spirit of Los Angeles alive. Kobe’s hunger to be great and second to none is what propelled him into stardom throughout his career. If there was ever a tough shot, Kobe Bryant was going to take and make it.