Remembering the Best Kobe Bryant Tributes

The earth stood still on January 26, 2020, when a Sikorsky S-76B helicopter carrying the legendary Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, with the million-watt smile crashed in Calabasas, California, approximately 30 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles. Nine people in total, including the pilot, died in the horrific crash and the basketball world came to a screeching halt.

Everything from the NBA futures odds to the game scheduled two nights later between the Los Angeles Clippers and LA Lakers was temporarily suspended. The mood of the entire league darkened and Kobe fans around the world cried and mourned together. The unthinkable had happened and one of the greatest players ever to grace the hardwood was dead at the age of 41, just four years removed from his last game.

It wasn’t long before the tributes to Kobe came pouring in but the most tear-jerking reflections from his contemporaries are forever etched in our collective memories. Let’s reflect on the best of the best and keep Kobe’s memory alive.

Kobe Bryant. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

First Anniversary of Kobe’s Death

Pau Gasol via Twitter

I miss you, hermano… not a day goes by that you are not present in what I do. Your spirit, your drive, your ambition, your love… continues to shine in my life and in many others. Photos, videos, very special moments keep being shared by countless people that have admired you and loved you in their own way, reminding me how incredibly lucky I have been to share some of those moments with you.

I hope you and Gigi are smiling down seeing how strong, sweet and amazing your girls are… they are growing so fast brother.

I wish you could’ve met our little Elisabet Gianna. We will make sure she knows where her middle name comes from… how extraordinary, loving and inspiring her cousin Gigi and her uncle Kobe were.

Today, we honor and celebrate both of you, you have left us with so much…, but even if it isn’t how we would like things to be, you are, and always will be, in our hearts.

Bryant shooting against Marci Gortat of the Washington Wizards, Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Magic Johnson via Twitter

Thank you God for allowing me enjoy Kobe Bryant for 20 years as a great basketball player, athlete, husband, father, philanthropist, mentor & teacher of the game to many men & women of all ages, best friend to Rob Pelinka, & brother to @jeaniebuss.

Alex Rodriguez via Twitter

I can’t believe it’s been one year since we experienced the tragic loss of my brother, my friend, Kobe Bryant. It still doesn’t feel real.

Kobe was so much more than just a basketball player and he was destined for even more greatness. His journey was truly just beginning and it still hurts so much thinking about how much good he had left to do.

I miss our conversations. I miss texting about family, business, sports and music. I miss him.

I’m also thinking about GiGi and her tragic loss, along with the other passengers on the plane. To all the families and friends who were affected by this tragedy, we are all thinking of you.

Today, and really everyday, remember that our time is short. Hug your loved ones. Call a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while. Work hard and remember to smile.

RIP, Kobe. Love you, Mamba.

Scottie Pippen via Twitter

I’ll always wish I had one more conversation with Kobe. For all his greatness and everything he accomplished, his best days were still to come. My thoughts are with the family and friends of Kobe, Gianna, and all the others who were taken from us far too soon a year ago today.

Russell Wilson via Twitter

“The most important thing is to try and inspire people so that they can be great in whatever they want to do.” -Kobe Bryant

Kobe & Gigi… you have inspired people all over the world. We miss you. We love you. #MambaForever

Bill Russell via Twitter

I have retyped this post so many times trying to find the words. But I just can’t find the ones to describe this feeling because it’s still unimaginable. Jeannine & I are thinking & praying for Vanessa, the girls, Kobe’s parent’s & the other families that lost their loved ones.

LeBron James

“Man, there’s a saying that says time heals all. As devastating and as tragic as it was and still is to all of us involved with it… it takes time. Everyone has their own grieving process,” said James at Chicago’s United Center, where Bryant’s idol, Michael Jordan, used to play.

“Everyone understands. Everyone individually is different and everyone is going to grieve differently and how long it takes them to come to grips with it, that’s up to them and that individual.

“You know, all you can do as a friend or a loved one or anyone in our brotherhood and our family that we have here with the organization, is to put an arm around someone when they need it.”

“I’m able to wear the ‘two-four’ on my finger every night. And then when we play at Staples Center, you see that two-four in the rafters and be able to just live his legacy. So, there’s a lot of things that die in this world, but legends never die. And he’s exactly that. So, it’s all about representing that.”