The sudden passing of Kobe Bryant along with his daughter Gianna as well seven others in a helicopter last month sent shockwaves through the sports world. It was a loss of an NBA icon in a tragic manner, which saw many reflect and honor the former Los Angeles Lakers star.
At the same time, it has moved many to honor him in an in-depth manner regarding his legacy. Milwaukee Bucks All-Star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo has brought forth a tremendous explanation towards what Bryant meant to him and his generation of players and athletes.
Kobe Bryant’s influence
Since Bryant’s passing, there has been a tremendously strong outpouring of admiration and gratitude directed toward the future first-ballot Hall of Famer.
He was not only one of the league’s greatest talents, but he also had a significant impact on and off the court on his peers, fans, and the next generation of athletes. Bryant‘s passion and commitment to the game was one that many drew a great deal of inspiration towards their own craft.
In the past couple of weeks, it had brought more clarity to the type of influence he had that continues to remain the case even when he stepped away from the game a few years ago. The reigning NBA MVP made that quite clear and then some during this All-Star weekend.
Giannis Antetokounmpo on Kobe Bryant
Many of the current star players in the NBA have voiced a significant amount of praise towards the Lakers legend.
Bryant served as a steady source of motivation behind his play and mentality on the court. That is something that Antetokounmpo echoed on Saturday morning by stating that the future Hall of Famer was not only one of his favorite players but was essentially the Michael Jordan for many players in his era.
He was my idol. Not just my idol, the whole generation’s idol. He was our Michael Jordan. He gave back to the game. A lot of people when they’re so great don’t do that. Talent is worthless if you don’t share it and he shared.”
In many ways, Bryant was compared to Jordan with their playing style and mannerisms that tantalized millions with his play on the court and countless memorable performances. He motivated the next generation to play the game of basketball in hopes of emulating him on the court, which included Antetokounmpo.
Players such as Paul George, LeBron James, DeMar DeRozan, and Kyrie Irving have voiced a similar sentiment about what Bryant meant to them growing up. That will continue to be the case with the next generations to follow as he was more than just a tremendous talent as his approach to the game and openness sharing that has further cemented his legacy.
Why Kobe Bryant’s legacy lives on
Even with it being a few weeks since Bryant’s passing, it’s still quite surreal to come to terms with that reality.
His impact on the game is one that is everlasting, which the outpouring of support and admiration from players, fans, and the NBA itself makes that clearer. Bryant was a generational talent that inspired many and was continuing to do that even as his career wrapped up more than three years ago.
His time in the league may have come to a close, but he worked with players such as Irving and Kawhi Leonard over the offseason to further improve their craft. Bryant was beginning to make a stronger impact on the game overall through coaching his daughter’s team that was helping generate a stronger push towards the WNBA.
Although he’s no longer here to do just that, his legacy lives on and will continue to inspire many more generations.