Kobe Bryant: Remembering A Legend

Rest in Peace Mamba.

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Two years ago, we lost an icon and one of the greatest players ever to play the game of basketball, Kobe Bryant. That tragic day also claimed the lives of eight other individuals, including Bryant’s daughter Gianna, her Mamba Academy teammates Peyton Chester and Alyssa Altobelli, Peyton’s mother Sarah Chester, Alyssa’s parents John and Keri Altobelli, and Ara Zobayan.

Here at ONE37pm, we think it’s more important to focus on the many wonderful moments of a person's life as opposed to their passing, and Kobe Bryant meant so much to us in so many different ways. Kobe put his all into everything he did, and as a result, he gave us so many amazing memories that will last us a lifetime. Today we reflect on those moments and how they impacted our lives.

Kobe, thank you for everything.

Kobe Wins The Oscar

Kobe Scores 62 Against The Dallas Mavericks

Kobe Drops 61 at Madison Square Garden

Teaching Mamba Mentality

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I was born and raised in Southern California. I am a lifelong hoops fan. I am religious about the open gym pickup basketball games at my local community center. With all of this said, Kobe Bryant was a very present force in my life. 

Now, full transparency, I am not a Lakers fan. But every kid in the neighborhood, at one point or another, owned a Kobe jersey. I was fortunate enough to have two in my life. I have a vivid memory of playing a one on one game in my backyard against my older cousin. He was a Boston Celtics fan, so naturally, it was my duty to hold it down for my hood and rock my yellow Kobe Lakers jersey. My cousin has almost five years on me, so he bullied me on the court. At one point, he accidentally elbowed me in the nose in the low-post.

I was a bloody mess. I was crying, whining, and sad. My nose was busted and my jersey was ruined. 

But… My Dad asked me a simple question. “What would Kobe do?” 

After a short break, I was back on the court. I lost badly. But the lessons were learned. 

And that’s what Kobe did. It sounds corny, but people (including myself) bought in. It didn’t matter if you were a fan or a hater. The Mamba Mentality wasn’t JUST a catchphrase. It extended beyond the basketball court. In any moment of discouragement, he provided that extra push in your head. The mantras that he preached were universal. The connection he made globally wasn’t an accident. 

-Bo Templin, Junior Editor

Being Impressed By Young Kobe

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It’s funny how sometimes when you think of a particular athlete or moment in sports history, you remember exactly where you were and can almost put yourself back in that place as if it happened yesterday. The first time I ever watched Kobe play is one of those moments. 

Back in 1996, I was a junior in high school and had recently been accepted to Purdue University. My mother and I flew out to Indiana to visit, and it also happened to be Final Four weekend, obviously a huge deal in the Hoosier state. 

It was a Sunday, and my mom (who hates sports) was nice enough to take me out to a local sports bar for our last meal before we flew back to New Jersey. The McDonalds All American Basketball game was on, and they kept showing highlights of this kid named Kobe Bryant. I remember them telling stories about his father, former NBA player Jellybean Bryant, and watching the clips from the Slam Dunk Contest that Kobe won the previous night. However, what stands out the most was how they talked about how he was likely going to skip college and enter the NBA Draft. 

That idea was relatively new to the NBA at the time, with Kevin Garnett being a pioneer of sorts, leading the charge. The thought of him doing it seemed so crazy because here I was with my mom looking at schools trying to decide the best path for my future, and Kobe was about to embark on an NBA career…and we were almost the exact same age. It blew my mind. 

I was not a big fan of Kobe’s because I’m a die-hard Knicks fan. I always respected his game, but I am the type of fan that roots only for the guys in the blue and orange and pretty much can’t stand any other player. But when Kobe died, I was overwhelmingly sad because it took my mind back to that sports bar in Indiana. A place in time when we both had our entire lives ahead of us and dreams of making it big in our professions. For him to die like that showed me how fragile life is and how we need to live every single day as if we aren’t guaranteed tomorrow. I know how much more I want to do before my time is up, and for Kobe, a father of 4, it is absolutely heartbreaking and so unfair that he was taken at such a young age with so much left that I’m sure he wanted to do. 

That will always be my personal connection to Kobe.

-Jason Koeppel, Trading Cards Editor

His Cultural Impact

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Culturally speaking, there is not a single Kobe moment that triumphs them all. It’s been two years since his passing, but people tend to forget that Kobe’s name is made out of Adamantium. Virtually indestructible, he is a godsend in the 21st century who always managed to shine brighter than his moments.

Kobe Bryant is an embodiment of hard work and spirituality. To this day, his cultural presence alone is enough to motivate people and encourage them to adopt his Mamba mentality. A mentality that has proved itself worthy and will continue to live on even past our lifetimes.

A mentality that anyone can embody and put to use immediately. From shooting crumpled-up homework paper into the wastebasket to you’re watching the birth of your daughter, it lives on.

-Brandon Shamy, Branded Content Lead

Kobe, you were an inspiration to us all. Thank You for everything.

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