Kobe Bryant: One of the Most Impactful Players In NBA History

Kobe Bryant, who donned the legendary numbers 8 and 24, died along with his daughter Gianna and seven others Sunday in a helicopter crash in California. He had turned skeptics into believers with three NBA titles and a plethora of memories that made him and Shaq a legendary pairing. At age 41, Bryant was one of the most talented players to ever step on the court. A prime example of this was the shocking moment when an Achilles injury stunned the basketball world and almost stopped Bryant’s career in its tracks. The toughness and unstoppable force of Kobe emerged once again, the same toughness and grit that carried his nearly untarnished image and reputation through several controversial setbacks. Number 24 himself stepped to the line in the middle of an intense ballgame and nailed free throws when that type of injury renders most professional athletes useless and immobile. Kobe was just a different kind of player, one whose sheer tenacity helped him overcome obstacles set in front of him since childhood. The helicopter carrying Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and 7 other passengers that crashed into a hillside in Southern California on Sunday was in a climbing left turn about 2,400 feet high before it dove to the ground, a person familiar with preliminary investigative information about the fatal crash told ESPN. Since Bryant’s death, diehard members of the Lakers nation have been showing up by the hundreds to pay their respects to the fallen player, many donning his legendary numbers.

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