NBA players, teams, and legends reflect on Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant: A year since the passing of Kobe Bryant, the NBA family reminisces on the NBA legend and the lessons they learned from Kobe Bryant that will live on for generations to come.
Though The National Transportation Safety Board is set to release its final report on the incident on February 9, 2021, it has released 1,852 pages from its investigation.
Pilot Ara Zobayan took off with Kobe, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, John and Keri Altobelli and their daughter, Alyssa, Sarah Chester and her daughter, Payton, and Christina Mauser, an assistant coach.
The helicopter was heading into increasingly mountainous terrain, where visibility was poor. The Sikorsky-76 chopper came down in fog in the Calabasas mountains northwest of Los Angeles.
Here is what the teams and basketball legends tweeted:
Family is Forever 🖤 pic.twitter.com/PH6R4sCrve
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) January 26, 2021
Laker Nation we will always remember the brilliance, the legend, and the mamba mentality of #8/#24 💜💛 pic.twitter.com/vnXNOYZ3Jy
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) January 26, 2021
I miss you, hermano… pic.twitter.com/Wd2MdT1JZ0
— Pau Gasol (@paugasol) January 26, 2021
Mamba Forever. pic.twitter.com/8I8lfrRfnp
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) January 26, 2021
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) January 26, 2021
“I remember just watching him, just like ‘I’m really about line up against Kobe’ … I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t know how to act, I just went out there and played.”
— Portland Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) January 25, 2021
One year gone. Always with us. pic.twitter.com/5LEb8DIqCW
— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) January 26, 2021
Forever Mamba 🇺🇸🐍
❤️ Kobe 🤍 Gigi 💙 pic.twitter.com/UCsOYUniDt
— USA Basketball (@usabasketball) January 26, 2021
To: Kobe and Gianna 💜💛
A year since the passing of Kobe Bryant, @PauGasol reminisces on the brotherhood they shared and the lessons from Kobe Bryant that will live on for generations to come. #MambaForever pic.twitter.com/xE6hJenjPM
— NBPA (@TheNBPA) January 26, 2021
— FIBA (@FIBA) January 26, 2021
Mamba Forever 🐍💜💛 pic.twitter.com/0uDpYQm7Ch
— Seattle Storm (@seattlestorm) January 26, 2021
Nike paid an emotional tribute:
The VIDEO titled “Better” and narrated by rapper Kendrick Lamar, illustrated Bryant’s dedication on and off the court. Throughout the 90-second montage, viewers get a glimpse at several throwback family photos and a touching clip of Bryant playing with one of his daughters as a toddler, seemingly after a game.
Created by Wieden & Kennedy Portland and narrated by rapper Kendrick Lamar, “Better” shows archived footage of “Black Mamba” throughout his career, as well as clips of people as they attempt to become better.
“Just be better,” Lamar remarks amid footage of this year’s Black Lives Matter protests that took place in the wake of George Floyd’s death.
The campaign is part of Nike’s “Mamba week”, which features talent including the Lakers’ Anthony Davis, Phoenix Mercury’s Diana Taurasi and 12-year-old British skateboarder Sky Brown as they discuss traits such as passion, honesty and optimism.
According to Nike, Bryant described the “mamba mentality” as “a constant quest to try to be better today than you were yesterday.”
“’Better’ celebrates the universal relevance of progress and highlights Kobe’s prolific desire for improvement,” Nike said. “While incremental change may feel small in the short term, those subtle shifts culminate to greater progress over time.”
Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna were among nine people killed in a helicopter crash in January.
“Kobe taught us to be better,” Lamar said to start the video. “Better dreamer. Better waker. Better stretcher. Better walker. Better talker. Better walking the walk and talking the talk. Better blocker. Better sprinter. Better loser. Better winner. Just be better.”
He continued: “Better form. Focus. Better friend. Better fighter. Better riding. Better eater. Better leader. Better generation. Better nation. Just be better. Can you do that?”
The tribute ends with a clip of Bryant saying “Mamba out,” while the crowd chants his name, and it fades into the message “Mamba forever.”
“Kobe Bryant was famous for his work ethic, and his commitment to improving every element of his game inspired athletes around the world, on and off the court,” a statement on Nike’s website read.