North Texas Daily

A tribute to the Mamba

A tribute to the Mamba

A tribute to the Mamba
January 27
20:46 2020

One day after being passed by Lebron James on the NBA All-Time Scoring list, NBA-legend Kobe Bryant’s sudden death sent shock waves through the sports world and online community. Users took to Twitter to discuss the loss of an icon and a father.

TMZ originally broke the story that Bryant’s helicopter went down Sunday morning, killing him and eight others, including his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna. The 41 year old left behind an NBA career that few could rival — 20 seasons with one team, five NBA Titles, one NBA MVP, 11x All-NBA First-Team, 18x NBA All-Star, two Olympic gold medals and countless other achievements. His No. 8 has been retired by the Los Angeles Lakers and his No. 24 has been retired by both the Lakers and the Dallas Mavericks.

While Bryant never stepped foot on UNT’s campus, the North Texas Daily found it important to pay tribute to one of the greatest to ever play the game of basketball. We reached out to writers, photographers, illustrators and editors to state the impact the Mamba had on them.

“Kobe Bryant was the reason I ever got into basketball and consequently sports. I might have never found my passion for writing if it wasn’t for him. I always played as the Lakers on 2k growing up and would always get the ball into his hands. His work ethic was one that I try to model my life after and his dedication to success was so admirable. It’s hard to believe that he’s gone.” – Zachary Cottam, Editor-in-Chief

“When I think about who Kobe Bryant was, I think of his tremendous work ethic and his desire to never be satisfied with where he was at in life. He was always trying to get better, be the greatest to ever do it and ascend to new heights. I can’t imagine anyone who embodied this lifestyle the way Kobe did. When he took off his Laker’s jersey for the final time in 2016, he kept those same characteristics but he implemented them into his duties as a father. He proved to us that true greatness did not come in the form of championship rings — it came in the form of being able to touch and move generations that looked up to him and the work ethic that made him so successful on and off the court.” – Matthew Suarez, Sports Editor

“To me, when I heard of the word ‘competitor’ growing up, the first person I always thought of was Kobe. He always wanted to be the best player, father and coach he could be. Even after retirement, he was always involved with the game and helping with the development of players for this generation and future generations to come. He’s the greatest athlete to represent Los Angeles and he’ll be missed.” – Deondre Jones, Senior staff sports writer

“The first pair of basketball shoes I ever had were Kobe 5’s. I’ll never forget how excited I was. Everyone has that one player they grew up that just owns the league, for me that was Kobe. He was my Jordan. I only got to see him play live once and I’ll never forget it.” – Jack Brown, sports writer

“Kobe Bryant was one of the first athletes who made me fall in love with sports. I would wear his shoes, jerseys, socks and feel as confident as he did. That confidence led me to believe I could do anything I set my mind to. Kobe’s mentality will always be a part of my way of thinking because it gave me confidence when I struggled to find it elsewhere.” – Zach Thomas, Senior staff photographer

“Kobe Bryant impacted me with the Mamba mentality in anything I do in life, especially in street basketball.” – Sebastian Venegas, sports writer

“One of the first basketball games I ever remember watching was the Los Angeles Lakers vs. the Houston Rockets in 2007. In my household, you were a Rockets fan or you didn’t watch the game with everyone else in the living room, so while everyone else booed Kobe and the Lakers, I watched in silence. Kobe was magic. He blew past defenders and every time the ball was in his hands, he scored. He was incredible. I had never seen anyone play like him, and for years after that game, I still never saw anyone play like him. I would record the Lakers games on TV just so I could get a glimpse of the Black Mamba in action. To see if he would bring the same magic from the first time I saw him play, and he delivered every single time. He was the greatest to ever play the game to me at nine years old, and he always will be.” – Brielle Thomas, Managing Editor

Despite the lives that were lost this past weekend, the Mamba Mentality lives on through the people Bryant inspired.

Featured Illustration: Miranda Thomas

About Author

North Texas Daily

North Texas Daily

The North Texas Daily is the official student newspaper of the University of North Texas, proudly serving UNT and the Denton community since 1916.

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