My reaction to Kobe Bryant, dead at 41 


Will Buggs, theSCORE Social Media Assistant/Reporter

As I was riding back home in the back seat of my parents’ car, the news broke out that NBA legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna, “Gigi,” and seven others had passed away in a helicopter crash in Calabassas, California. 

My family and I had just experienced an amazing weekend in Atlanta, where we attended the Honda Battle of the Bands, and this news was devastating to me. 

I was first informed about the tragedy through a group chat. The message wrote, “Kobe Bryant is dead?!!” and I assumed the statement was a joke. There was no way that my childhood hero, my favorite basketball player of all time was dead. How could that be possible? I just saw him on television the other day. 

He had recently tweeted hours before his final tweet to congratulate LeBron James on passing him for third all-time on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. 

I decided to do further research because I couldn’t accept it. So I went to Google and typed “Kobe Bryant” to see what results pop up, and there it was: 

Kobe Bryant dies at 41 

My heart dropped to my stomach, and my thoughts were racing. I kept looking his name up, hoping all of this was a myth and someone was just starting a rumor. There’s no way that this tragic information has been confirmed. 

But as social media started blowing up and others started chiming in on the news, I quickly realized that this nightmare was reality. 

After regathering myself from shock, I shared the information with my parents and they gasped in disbelief. They were shaken up as well. 

The news changed the entire dynamic of the car ride and our exciting weekend ended somberly. My parents knew how much I looked up to Kobe my entire life, so they could feel my sorrow as well. 

My mom tried to console me by ordering an official No. 8 Kobe Bryant Jersey for me from Amazon before they sold out. She was successful in doing so and that helped ease the pain a little bit, and this is why I love her. 

Still, it was a long car ride before we made it home. Even though it was hard to talk about the situation, that’s all in which our conversation circulated.

I was even getting phone calls from friends who knew I was a fan. The reactions wouldn’t stop. 

“Bruh, I’m sad. I’m literally in tears over here, dawg. Lebron just passed this man in scoring…playing with the Lakers, then BOOM,” said a coworker of mine via text.

“We lost a GOAT today,” said a colleague at The A&T Register via text.

The impact Kobe Bryant has made on me and others is undeniable. 

Although Kobe wasn’t perfect, he was my childhood hero, role model, idol and much more. In fact, I just purchased a copy of his book titled, “Kobe Bryant the Mamba Mentality How I Play” about a month ago. 

I read a few pages in it every day in order to model my mentality as my hero’s. 

Reading the book showed me that Kobe’s mentality is to push yourself beyond your limits while staying focused on your goal. 

One quote that stuck out to me from what I read so far is, “You can’t achieve greatness by walking a straight line.” 

The way I interpreted this was if you want to be great, then expect an unpredictable journey but don’t lose sight of the destination. 

I won’t lose sight of the destination. Thank you Kobe for everything.