Lakers Writer Reflects On Kobe Bryant's Life, Death, Legacy

NBA legend Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash Sunday

After Hours With Amy Lawrence
January 27, 2020 - 9:40 am
Kobe Bryant Lakers

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The sports world suffered a tragic loss Sunday, as NBA legend Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif. Bryant, who won five NBA titles and two Finals MVPs with the Los Angeles Lakers, was one of nine people killed. His 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, was among the victims.

The response to the tragedy has been both emotional and overwhelming. 

“Obviously a lot of sadness,” LakersNation senior writer Trevor Lane said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “A lot of people saying, ‘We’ll miss Kobe,’ a lot of people who are struggling to process it, a lot of people who are still in disbelief – but also a lot of people talking about ‘my favorite Kobe moment.’ The lob to Shaq or the buzzer beaters in Portland or the championships or all these different moments – beating the Celtics in 2010.”

Bryant, 41, played 20 seasons in the NBA and was an 18-time All-Star. He led the Lakers to three NBA titles in a row with Shaquille O’Neal from 2000-02, and he won back-to-back titles in 2009 and 2010 with Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom and others.

Bryant left fans with countless memories along the way.

“What really stands out to me is how many people say my favorite Kobe moment was this, and I shared it with my dad, my brother, my friends – how many people came together around Lakers basketball and around watching Kobe Bryant play,” Lane said. “That’s been the thing that really stood out to me – the togetherness that has been created by people watching the Lakers and watching Kobe and enjoying with friends and family.” 

Bryant dominated the NBA for over 15 years before suffering a torn Achilles in April 2013. That injury “robbed him of his immortality,” Lane said, and Bryant was a different player – and person – upon his return to the league.

“That was when, I don’t want to say it humbled him, but it does humanize him a bit,” Lane said. “It made him understand that even he’s not invincible. So I think it did kind of give him a look of what it’s like on the other side of when you can’t be Kobe Bryant, when you have to fight to come back and your career is in jeopardy and people are questioning whether or not you can really be that star ever again if your talent is gone now. I think that changed his way of viewing the game, changed his approach and made him a kinder, gentler Kobe in a way.”

Click below to listen to Lane’s interview in its entirety.