What makes an icon? In the sports world, it is a name that transcends all understanding, a name that is synonymous with one individual. Ronaldo. Messi. Gretzky. Jeter. Babe. Montana. Brady. Jordan. LeBron. Across all of sports, only a select few have gained the distinguished privilege of being recognized in this way and having their name forever remembered amongst the pantheon of greats that came before.
On Sunday, both the sports and societal realm lost an icon, one whose name has been uttered by so many just by shooting something into a trashcan. Kobe, a name that now carries with it a twinge of pain and sadness for an icon lost too soon. His influence exceeded just the NBA, it touched the lives of so many across the sports and entertainment world and inspired an entire generation of kids to embody the Mamba Mentality.
An NBA champion, MVP, All-Star, and an Oscar winner, these are just a few of the numerous accolades that Kobe Bryant was able to amass throughout his career. But there was one accomplishment that he took pride in more than anything else, father. His love for his family was one of the most memorable parts of his life, one which now many so fondly remember. It was his driving force, the motivation to be a better person and player and it afforded him so many more opportunities when he finally decided to retire from the game of basketball. He loved being able to coach his daughter, Gianna Bryant, who wanted to follow in his footsteps and become an inspiration to so many others. His joy in teaching her about the game was apparent when they would attend NBA games with her, and both would have the biggest smiles while breaking down the game itself.
Kobe Bryant lived and preached what he called the Mamba Mentality, a mantra of perseverance and dedication to whatever your craft, no matter what obstacle lies in your way. He played by this code, lived by it, raised his family under it and many today vow to personify those values in his honor.
One value in the Mamba Mentality that must not be overlooked is love, love for others and love for those closest to you because you never know if you’ll get to see them again. Tell them you love them with all your heart while you still can, any small issue you have with them let it go it isn’t as important as the love you share, cherish those you care for and love them with every fiber of your being.
Nine lives were lost yesterday morning, nine individuals who had plans for that day, that month, that year, plans that will never be able to be fulfilled. Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife Keri and daughter Alyssa, Harbor Day basketball coach Christina Mauser, mom Sarah Chester and her daughter Payton, and pilot Ara Zobayan were all on that tragic flight. Their memory will be upheld by their families and friends and they will stand as a testament to live every day to fullest. Our deepest condolences and thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who were lost, may they eternally rest in peace.
Want to help support the victims in this tragedy? Consider donating to the Kobe and Vanessa Bryant Family Foundation (KVBFF). Comment your thoughts down below or tweet us @TheHoneyPop on Twitter. Want more articles covering a variety of different topics? Visit The Honey Pop!
Featured Image Source: Harry How/Getty Images