It has been a bit more than two months since that infamous Sunday in January when a tragic helicopter crash claimed the life of Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven others.
Just as the incredible process of a gut wrenching healing began with a public memorial at Staple Center a month after, basketball played out abundantly in every city, state and level soothed the grief, but it was still hard to imagine that Kobe Bryant was dead.
Then along came the wicked invisible monster better known as coronavirus (COVID-19) sweeping across the globe, invading every pocket of our once sacred life, shuttering all sense of normalcy we often took for granted, freezing us to a silent stand still.
The sports world was still grappling with the monumental loss of one of their iconic brethren, hoping the find some solace by participating in their field of endeavor.
On the other hand plumbers, clerks, lawyers, doctors, politicians, pastors, priest, girls, boys, women and men in all walks of life resurrected their own Mamba mentality to forge forward.
There were some that really did not want to proceed with life, but the mere thought of Kobe, inspired them also.
The Lakers were on the cusp of honoring Kobe with their first NBA title since 2010, but even that dreamful NBA campaign has been utterly suspended, with no known date to resume.
On Monday Kobe was brought back to the forefront when its was announced that he would be inducted in the 2020 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
It had long been a foregone conclusion that Kobe would get the Hall call, but no one could imagine that he would not be here to receive it.
“It breaks my heart that he won’t be there to receive the award himself and give a great speech.” Magic Johnson said on Twitter.
Kobe averaged 25.0 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game during the regular season. Along with his titles and Finals MVPs, the Lakers legend was basically Michael Jordan 2.0 for basketball fans around the world. Bryant was an 18-time All-Star, two-time scoring champion and 15-time All-NBA Team member with the Lakers.
Charles Barkley called Kobe the best player behind Michael Jordan.
“Kobe Bryant is the best basketball player I’ve seen compared to Michael Jordan. I think Michael is the greatest I’ve seen and played against. I’ve always said this — Kobe’s the closest I’ve ever seen [to Michael]. I didn’t get to play against Kareem in his prime, or Wilt or Bill Russell or LeBron. But I’m telling you, Kobe Bryant’s the best player I’ve ever seen other than Michael Jordan.”