Dear Kobe Bryant: A Tribute To An Icon

Define icon. The definition of the word is a person or thing regarded as a representative symbol or as worthy of great respect. Kobe Bryant was and will forever be an icon. He will forever deserve great respect. Kobe Bryant will always mean so much to the game of basketball, but he means so much to people beyond the sport. To me, a kid growing up in a small town in Alabama, Kobe Bryant meant I got to see greatness on t.v. every time the Los Angeles Lakers were on.

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We all as a sports community watched what you would become a legend. From your arrival straight out of Lower Merion High School to the NBA as an 18-year-old rookie who did a between the legs slam to win the 1997 Dunk Contest. We all saw as your accolades grew and you became a champion. You were the face of the franchise that dominated the league. You started a family and became a well-respected husband and father.

Kobe Bryant, you resurged back on the court wearing the new number 24 and you dominated. Kobe, you set records and won multiple championships many years after you won your first. Then you tore your Achilles, but you picked yourself up. In an act of guts and courage, you knocked down free throws on that torn Achilles after limping to the line. You, Kobe Bryant, rehabbed and came back again. Kobe, you always brought the Mamba Mentality every day and your work ethic was unmatched.

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Then you closed it out with a 60 point performance against the Utah Jazz and ended your storied career in a perfect way. An amazing curtain call with you having this to say, “What can I say Mamba Out!” Your retirement from the NBA resonated with all of us and hit harder than any other player’s retirement. Kobe Bryant that pales in comparison to this and we all are still trying to process this.

Kobe your drive, passion, and love for the game of basketball helped millions of people find their love for it. The number of lives that you either touched, affected, or changed might be higher than any other athlete of our generation. Your legacy will live on through your fans and the entire sports world.

As I scrolled through social media I saw all the Kobe Bryant stories from everyone. One thing I saw a lot of was this. My mom, my dad, or my parents use to tell me to never idolize an athlete, but Kobe Bryant was different. He was a star, a legend, an inspiration, a husband, and a father.

Kobe Bryant was and will forever be an icon. There will never be another one like Kobe Bryant and I’m glad because his greatness will never be overshadowed. You once said, “Heroes come and go, but legends are forever.” Now those same words are directed about you. Thank you, Kobe Bryant, for everything.

What do you remember about the life of the great Kobe Bryant? Leave a memory below?

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Follow Jeremy on Twitter @JeremyGrace12.

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