On Tuesday February 24, 2020 a televised memorial service was held at the Los Angeles Staples Center in honor of the late NBA star Kobe Bryant. Bryant, who was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania had become a staple in Los Angeles culture making a name for himself as a talented shooting guard after entering the NBA rafter high school and subsequently joining the LA Lakers. Throughout his 20-year tenure on the team and in the city, Bryant went on the win 5 NBA championships and 18 All-Star championships. He made NBA MVP and NBA Finals NVP several times throughout his career and is widely regarded as one of the best basketball players in the league. Outside of basketball, Bryant forged a strong bond with Los Angeles’s Lantinx community and culture and was a key figure in popularizing one of LA’s best-known structures, the Staple’s Center. We would like to share some of our thoughts on his life and legacy with you below.
I was only 8 years old when I caught my first glimpse of Kobe Bryant. He is the reason I fell in love with basketball and became a die-hard Lakers fan. It has been quite the thrill to watch you evolve from a young 17 year old prodigy with a strive for greatness, to a 42 year old NBA Champion, Olympic Gold Medalist, Oscar Winner, and most importantly, an amazing role model and loving father. I will always admire your absolute fearlessness, insane work ethic and dedication, and the passion you shared, not just for the love of basketball, but in life. You taught us that anything can be achieved if you just worked hard at it. Thank you for all the memories Kobe, your impact on people was not only felt in Los Angeles, but around for people around the world. You’ve inspired millions to never give up and become the best version of yourself you can possibly be and we will carry on the Mamba Mentality. Rest In Peace Kobe and Gianna Bryant.