National Basketball Association (NBA) legend Kobe Bryant met with an untimely death in a helicopter crash near Los Angeles on Sunday. The 41-year-old was one of the superstars of the sport and heir to the throne vacated by Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan.
Bryant, the son of a former NBA player, shot to prominence as one of the best high school players in the country. He made his NBA debut for Los Angeles Lakers in 1996 as an 18-year-old rookie.
Despite being plagued by injuries, the forward and shooting guard went on to play 20 years for Lakers in a stellar career. He was determination personified as he won five NBA championships in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2009 and 2010.
Bryant was also part of the All Star team for 18 years which is second only to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s record of 19.
Nicknamed the ‘Black Mamba’, he won the NBA Most Valuable Player award in 2008.
Bryant was also part of the invincible US team which won Olympic gold medals in Beijing 2008 and London 2012.
He brought the curtains down on his amazing journey in 2016 after playing 1,346 regular season games.
He amassed a total career points of 33,643 - fourth on the all-time NBA list.
Naturally Bryant raked in money and earned more than $300 million from his playing career alone.
Bryant courted controversy in 2003 after a hotel employee accused him of molestation. He reached a civil settlement with the woman couple of years later.
Bryant had a lot more to offer to the sport of basketball and the world. He has bid adieu at the age of 41, but his deeds on the court will continue to inspire millions. RIP, Bryant.