How do you put into words Kobe’s impact? Simply, you can’t

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By: James Campbell

How do you put into words the impact a legend leaves behind? When their energy is so present, that you can’t just focus on one aspect of their broad accomplishments? On Sunday, we were once again reminded the difficulty to string together thoughts into a well-structured summary.

Kobe Bryant created his legend, his legacy, on the hardwood in Los Angeles. Entering the NBA at 18, he brought with him strong confidence, knowing he was going to become a superstar.

Kobe knew that in order to thrive in the bright lights of the league, in the star-studded town of Hollywood, he’d have to work. Hard. This mentality became known to the entire world as the “Mamba Mentality.”

We all know the athletic achievements by now. Five-time NBA champion. Two-time NBA Finals MVP. 18-time NBA All-Star. 11-time All-NBA First Team. Fourth all-time in scoring in NBA history, now that LeBron passed Bryant Saturday. As sports fans, we stand in awe of how Kobe seemed to own the court.

The Mamba Mentality, however, didn’t exit Kobe’s being once he walked away from the game of basketball. One can argue that it only expanded. His love letter to the game, “Dear Basketball”, was transformed into an animated short film. That film would go on to win an Academy Award in 2018. Kobe also wanted to succeed in business. He formed Granity Studios, with the desire to combine sports and storytelling.

He wrote a book, “Mamba Mentality: How I Play”, which many of its readers claim has inspired them. He was also working on a new children’s series, “The Wizenard Series”, which aims to help coaches, parents and kids alike understand the power of sports and teamwork. He aimed to educate and inspire others with books, podcasts and other forms of entertainment to inspire and foster the imagination and development of young athletes to reach their full potential.

He co-founded Bryant Stibel in 2013 with entrepreneur Jeff Stibel, a venture capital firm that invests in some big-name companies, such as Epic Games, the developer of the hot Fortnite video game. Bryant Stibel has over $2 billion in assets.

There’s no argument Kobe strived for greatness. He never forgot to help others, too.

He granted over 200 wishes through the Make-A-Wish foundation. He was an Honorary Ambassador to the After-School All-Stars, a national non-profit that works on extending the school day for underprivileged children. He was an ally to those fighting cancer, reminding people to use the Mamba Mentality.

Most importantly, Kobe was a loving father. The past few days, countless photos and videos of Kobe and Gianna (or Gigi) have appeared on TV, social media posts, and countless stories about the life of Kobe. The clips of the two bonding and talking over the sport of basketball shows what true love is, and the kind of parent Kobe wanted to be. Kobe mentioned many times that family time was important to him, even more so than winning games.

How do you put into words the impact a legend leaves behind? Simply, you can’t. Kobe Bryant was a presence of which we may never see again. He fostered a love for the sport and worked to inspire young boys and girls to accomplish their dreams, on and off the court. He was the biggest proponent of women’s basketball at a time others wouldn’t give any attention to it. Above all, he gave the world the Mamba Mentality.

So, in times of struggle and despair, let’s remember this mentality to never give up, never stop trying. Kobe Bryant wouldn’t want anyone to admit defeat, when triumph is always around the corner.

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