NBA world comes together to pay tribute to Kobe Bryant on ‘Mamba Day’

Jonathan Sherman
3 Min Read

Ever since the tragic passing of Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, the basketball world has come up with countless ways and reasons to celebrate his life and contributions to the game of basketball.

Aug. 24 offers a unique opportunity to do that because the date is comprised of the numbers 8 and 24, which represent the two numbers that Bryant famously wore during his tenure with the Lakers.

Not only that, but Aug. 24 comes just one day after his birthday. Bryant would have turned 44 years old on Tuesday had he not passed in a tragic helicopter accident in 2020.

Unsurprisingly, many individuals and organizations came out to celebrate the day and Bryant’s memory.

Clearly, there is boundless love for Bryant across the entire NBA and basketball world. Bryant was born in 1978 in the city of Philadelphia. While he had NBA pedigree in his genes thanks to his father, no one could have predicted what he would ultimately go on to accomplish.

Bryant joined the Lakers thanks to a trade between them and the Charlotte Hornets. He was the No. 13 overall pick in the 1996 NBA Draft and entered the league right out of high school.

He was only 17 years old at the time and needed his parents to co-sign his first rookie deal before he turned 18 years old.

After a somewhat forgettable rookie season, Bryant burst onto the scene in the 1997-98 campaign and made it to his first All-Star Game. He ultimately totaled 18 All-Star Game selections.

However, those personal accolades were never what drove Bryant. His insatiable desire to be the best and win the league’s ultimate prize are two characteristics that people connect with.

Bryant won five NBA titles, two scoring titles, two Finals MVP awards and one NBA MVP award during his time in the league.

He defined his generation of basketball, and he helped inspire the generation of stars that currently dominate the league.

Losing Bryant at such a young age is likely a wound that will never truly heal for his family, friends and fans that loved him during his life. However, moments like these are special and should be cherished, as they help keep his memory and impact very much alive.

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Jonathan is a freelance writer, filmmaker, and passionate fan of the NBA. In the past Jonathan has covered politics, entertainment, travel, and more. He is a proud contributor of Lakers Daily.