Written by Darcy Waskiewicz, Sports Editor
On Sunday, Jan. 26, basketball legend Kobe Bryant passed away in a helicopter accident. Bryant, along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others, were traveling through Los Angeles when the helicopter crashed. Known as one of the best basketball players in history, Bryant spent twenty years in the National Basketball Association, all with the Los Angeles Lakers. In those twenty years, Bryant created a legacy that ensured his name will be remembered throughout the sporting world.
Bryant was drafted 13th overall by the Charlotte Hornets in 1996 as a 17-year-old but was traded to the Lakers before he even stepped foot on an NBA court. He debuted with the Lakers later that year at the age of 18, making him the youngest player in the league at the time. After stepping onto the court for the first time, Bryant never slowed down, breaking multiple records and accomplishing much in his 20-year career.
An 18-time All-Star, Bryant led the NBA in scoring in the 2005-2006 and 2006-2007 seasons. He also helped lead the Lakers to five NBA champions in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2009 and 2010. During his career, Bryant was named to the All-NBA teams fifteen times, and to the NBA All-Defensive teams twelve times. He also won two Olympic gold medals with the United States men’s basketball team in 2008 and 2012.
Bryant reached 30,000 points at the age of 34 in 2012. He holds the record as the 4th-leading scorer in NBA history with 33,643 points and is the Lakers all-time leading scorer in franchise history. He retired from the NBA in 2016 but his legacy still remained around the league as one of the greatest, and the name Kobe will be known for generations to come.