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Kobe Bryant’s legacy endures longer than ever

Kobe Bryant’s legacy endures longer than ever

Kobe Bryant was not in the bubble with the Los Angeles Lakers when they were proclaimed NBA champions last fall. She was also absent from the All-Star Game in Chicago, where half of the contestants wore her number on their jerseys and the other half wore her daughter’s number. He was not there for the announcement of his induction into the Hall of Fame.

But his presence was felt strongly in each of those moments.

Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven other people who boarded that helicopter one Sunday morning in Southern California perished a year ago – marking the sad first anniversary of the crash that cost them their lives on Tuesday.

They cried a lot. Anecdotes were told. Tributes were paid.

And if there was any doubt about Bryant’s legacy – a five-time NBA champion, fourth leading scorer in history and a 20-season league veteran – after retiring, no one disputes him anymore. It still reverberates, perhaps more than ever.

“May God save her soul, God save the soul of Gigi and the seven others who died,” said Miami assistant coach and former player Caron Butler, a longtime friend of Bryant. “The legacy he left. He did it all. He inspired people. When it comes to growing up, facing challenges, having the right mindset, having a perspective on life, Kobe was all of that and that is why his legacy will endure forever. “

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Bryant is gone, but Butler has kept a promise. Butler had a feverish taste for Mountain Dew, going to the extent of drinking the soda during games while his teammates believed he was drinking Gatorade. When Butler played for the Lakers, Bryant asked him to quit.

Butler recorded a commercial last year for Mountain Dew. He took a sip in front of the cameras and immediately spit out the drink.

“Out of respect for my brother,” Butler said.

Tony Altobelli lost his brother, John Altobelli, in the accident. Alyssa Altobelli was Gianna Bryant’s teammate; getting into the helicopter with John, his father, and his mother Keri.

John Altobelli was the coach of the Orange Coast baseball team in Southern California. Tony Altobelli is the head of public relations for the sports teams of that academic institution. The information director’s mission is to promote their teams, through thick and thin, always looking for a way to tell a story. And somehow, for this very painful story, Tony Altobelli was able to do it.

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His brother passed away along with Kobe Bryant. It was like the world who his brother was.

“It’s nice that his memory and how he lived his life is praised elsewhere,” said Tony Altobelli. “It is something that lessens what happened.”

Christina Mauser was also killed in the accident. She was one of the coaches at Bryant’s academy. Tony Altobelli and Mauser’s husband, Matt, became friends over the past year; They did not know each other before January 26, 2020. Matt Mauser has organized a concert in tribute of the victims and that seeks to raise funds for the foundation he has created in memory of his wife – it will be broadcast on Tuesday night.

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Sarah Chester and her 13-year-old daughter, Payton, another of Gianna and Alyssa’s teammates, were also on board. The pilot, Ara Zobayan, was also killed.

The Lakers were flying when the news broke, back from playing the night before in Philadelphia, Bryant’s hometown.

The tragedy shook the NBA immediately. The Golden State Warriors were starting a practice when someone found out.

“Everything stopped,” recalled Warriors coach Steve Kerr. “The music stopped playing. The players stopped. Nobody said anything. Several of the boys threw themselves on the floor and began to cry. Nothing for 10 years. We were stunned. It was one of the worst moments of our lives ”.

The Lakers have not planned any formal event for the day, like the NBA It is not a day of celebration. It is a day to remember, even if it is not necessary.

Bryant’s legacy lives on. It will not be forgotten. Nor on January 26, 2020.

“I don’t think any of us will forget that day,” Kerr said. AP (HN)

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