Only time heals wounds. It is customary to say in moments of loss. It has happened to all of us, tragedy is an inherent part of our lives, and more so in these times. Some losses transcend the collective sphere and do not know borders. The death of Kobe Bryant, who left our lives today a year ago, falls into this category.
On January 26, 2020, a helicopter carrying nine people near Calabasas, a city northwest of Los Angeles, California, crashed in heavy fog near the Santa Monica Mountains. In the plane were Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven other people: the pilot Ara Zobayan, Gigi's teammates, and some of their relatives.
The news shocked the entire world in a matter of hours, and for many, the wound is still open. The investigation into the accident, with at least nine complaints in court and more than 35 lawyers who work day and night on it, also remains open and without conclusive results.
"They say that time heals everything," LeBron James reflected in his last media appearance. For members of the Los Angeles Lakers roster, Kobe's death caught them back in L.A. aboard the team plane. “It was devastating and tragic, and it still is for everyone involved. It takes time, and everyone has their way of mourning death ”.
The Lakers do not plan any special action or any tribute to remember the figure of Bryant. The death of the partner and the legend, at 41 years old, still hurts in the depths of those close to him. "I'm not comfortable talking about it, to this day I have hardly talked about it," said Marc Gasol, who knows the suffering of the loss closely.
His brother, who repeatedly visits the former player Vanessa's widow and acts as an uncle to his daughters, forged a friendship beyond the courts based on the two NBA titles won in 2009 and 2010. “I still don't want to believe it, you think that Kobe could have gotten out of that accident on his own. That was how invincible he was, ”Pau Gasol explained in a special program on ESPN to remember the figure of Bryant. "I will try to be a good father to my daughter and a good uncle to her daughters."
Kobe left an immense mark on the world of sports, which since his death continues to this day remembering his example as a tireless worker, dreamer, and storyteller with a ball in his hand. The figure of Bryant linked the time of Michael Jordan, his idol and competitive mold, with that of LeBron James, who now closes the circle precisely in Los Angeles. The '8' and '24' achieved five championship titles with the Lakers, the franchise of all his life where he spent his 20 seasons as a professional.
His indomitable character and excessive demand did not take away from Kobe an innate ability to mentor young promises, including his little Gigi, who was going to star of women's basketball. Bryant's attention to women and sports was one of the last works he left in life. Like any legend, his legacy lives on, on the surface.
A survey conducted in the summer of 2020 by 'Morning Consult' estimated that Kobe Bryant is today the most prominent figure in the world of sports for generation Z, young people born between 1997 and 2012 who were very young when the player shone brighter force above the courts. 11% highlighted him above other stars such as LeBron James (10%) or Lionel Messi (5%), among others.