The news Sunday rocked the sports world: NBA legend Kobe Bryant, the iconic Lakers guard, died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. His 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, was among seven others who perished in the crash. Kobe was 41.
It seems inconceivable that the Mamba could be gone. How could death come for someone who seemed immortal?
Bryant achieved god-like status in becoming one of the best to ever play basketball. He retired in 2016 after racking up a bevy of honors. Five NBA championships. Two Olympic golds. One MVP. Eighteen All-Star appearances. The list goes on on. Even those with no interest in sports know the name “Kobe.”
The impact of his death was tangible during Sunday’s Grammy Awards, which took place at Staples Center—the “house that Kobe built”—and included numerous tributes to the iconic baller. Once the youngest athletes to enter the NBA as a 17-year-old high schooler, Kobe’s hoops career played out with unparalleled drama—unforgettable highs and a few lows, too. We were fortunate to witness it.
Many of his most life-defining moments happened on the court. Here are some of the most memorable scenes from Kobe Bryant’s NBA career.