The passing of a legend: Mourning the loss of Kobe Bryant

Brandon Mills, Writer

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As I sit here now on January 27th, a Monday afternoonit’s been a little over thirty-six hours since the sudden and devastating passing of 41-year-old Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna. I have come to terms with the horrible truth that Kobe’s death was in fact not a hoax and very real. Multiple families have been forever changed, and the lives of millions that Kobe touched have been hurt due to his passing.  

It is only human that we have these feelings of uncertainty and we begin to question our own mortality. I think this is called into question if the legend that is Kobe Bryant could die so unexpectedly. This is not an easy thing to come to terms in the slightest. 

Is it weird to cry real tears for a person I’ve never met? I don’t think so. I think everyone else who cried Sunday afternoon, when they learned the horrific news, would agree with me. Kobe Bryant had such an impact on the world, that his passing seemed to stop all the hate and politics momentarily, rather bringing everyone together simply to show love for the life of Kobe. 

Not many people can make Twitter a place where there is consistent love being shown throughout the day, but Kobe did that. Even so, there are a lot of questions still to be answered in the wake of his untimely and extremely unexpected death. Easily the biggest and most difficult being, “Why?”  

Why now? Why Kobe? Why Gianna? None of it really makes sense yet and I don’t know if it ever will. Kobe had the presence of someone who was going to be in our lives until he was old and even then, he’d still be on the sideline, watching games, enjoying what he loved most in life. We won’t get to see that side of Kobe – the most unreal feeling yet. 

I would like to say thank you to Kobe Bean Bryant for being an absolute highlight of my childhood and bringing five championships to the city of Los Angeles over his illustrious career. I am having a hard time truly processing the passing of Kobe Bryant today as are many others. It was random. Out of the blue.  

Being a kid from Southern California and growing up in the prime of Kobe’s career was something that was so special, and now with his passing, it will lend even fonder memories of the championships and personal accolades that I watched Kobe achieve over the course of his career. I am a Lakers fan because of what Kobe did on the court and the way he carried himself off it as well. He walked with a certain swagger that was calculated, he knew what he had to do each day to be a better version of himself from the day before, and he was willing to do that every single day.  

I can confidently say that for the Southern California region, Kobe was the pinnacle of what it meant to be a professional. He made me enjoy basketball from an early age. He was everything to Lakers fans, especially ones that are in my age bracket, so Kobe is truly the G.O.A.T and we will collectively challenge anyone on that forever if they disagree. For us, it was more than just Kobe being on the Lakers, Kobe was the Lakers.  

With his death being so incredibly unexpected as mentioned, it is only right that conversation switches a little bit into a life discussion. Social media has been a mess today because the reports at the start of the day were all over the place and no one seemed to have everything in place.  

The above video shows just one of many emotional reactions to the tragedy from Jay Williams. In mourning and trying to process what happened, Williams offers important pieces of advice, and encourages all to be, “precious with every damn second we have here.”

Once the details were ironed out, it makes you think about how short life really is, as Williams touched on as well. You absolutely cannot take life for granted, especially after an event like the death of Kobe Bryant. Kobe just seemed untouchable, omnipresent if you will, who would always be around in the public eye and now he simply isn’tIt‘s an overall weird feeling trying to comprehend that one of my sports idols growing up is gone.  

This is the first celebrity death that I am dealing with that has really hit home for me. It’s the first one from one of my favorite teams, and really the first one where I loved the person who passed away without ever even meeting them. I never understood people getting sad over celebrity deaths before today, but now I am feeling that same wayand all I can say is that I am sorry for not understanding the grieving of someone who you haven’t met.  

I understand it a little better today, though it certainly is not an easy thing to cope with at all. If there is one thing to take from the passing of the great Kobe Bryant, it would be to not take life for granted, hug your loved ones, and to tell everyone that means something to you that you love them, since you really never know what tomorrow will bringIts an absolute tragedy, but it puts life into a new perspective for everyone who is mourning the death of a legend.  

One more thing that I would like to say to Kobe, thank you for 2009 and 2010. Those are some of my favorite memories as a child, watching those Kobeled Lakers teams win championships is unforgettable. I will never forget those. I will never forget Kobe. His impact goes so far beyond the world of basketball, he inspired so many people to be the best competitor they could possibly be 

This is one of those deaths that everyone will remember exactly where they were. This is certainly the biggest death in the sports world in quite some time, and possibly ever just because of how unexpected it was.  

Rest in Peace to Kobe and Gianna Bryant as well as the 7 others who perished in the crash today. Every one of you will be missed dearly.