NBA legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and seven others have tragically passed away, but the Bay Area and the entire sports world will forever keep his legacy alive.
The sports world was impacted in a way that it perhaps never has been before on Sunday when Kobe Bryant tragically passed away in a helicopter accident. And in times like this, the entire world comes together as one.
Despite the city of Los Angeles being a longtime rival of the Bay Area, this tragedy brought everyone together as one collective family. The Bay Area and Los Angeles stood side by side and grieved together.
Kobe was an inspiration for countless individuals across the globe. He inspired an entire generation of athletes and in many ways, was their idol. He was and still is their superhero.
On Sunday and in the following days, athletes, celebrities, and fans took to social media to express their thoughts on the situation. First, it was shock, followed by grief, until reality began to set in.
Millions of posts flooded social media feeds as people discussed what Kobe meant to them. What he meant to them as an athlete, but more importantly what he meant to them as a person.
The Bay Area was no different as hundreds of current athletes, coaches, and Bay Area legends took to social media to discuss what had happened. Some were in a state of shock while others took the opportunity to share stories of their fallen hero.
This was a shared reaction when the news first broke. We didn’t want to believe it was true. No one did.
But unfortunately, reality set in over time and we began to think about the impact of this tragedy.
Others such as Golden State Warriors rookie Eric Paschall, San Francisco 49ers defensive lineman Solomon Thomas, and Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs sent prayers to his family and anyone else impacted.
As reality set in, people began to think about their favorite memories of Kobe. Others thought about how he impacted them in their own personal lives.
To many, Kobe was their hero. He was their idol and role model. An entire generation of children grew up idolizing Kobe, mimicking his mannerisms and reenacting his signature moments.
The realization that he was gone was too much for some to handle.
Players like Sacramento Kings shooting guard Bogdan Bogdanovic, Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr, and San Jose Sharks wing Evander Kane took to Twitter to express their love and admiration for Kobe.
There were countless other tributes — both from Bay Area greats, current Bay Area athletes/coaches, and others around the sports world.
All shared the same feeling though. The world had lost not only one of the greatest to ever play the game of basketball, but they had lost a father, a husband, a son, and a brother. They had lost a friend.
Here are some of the other notable tributes shared on Twitter from Bay Area personnel.
The Luke Walton video is particularly touching seeing as the two shared many years together as teammates on the Los Angeles Lakers. Walton was clearly moved by the news calling it “one of the harder times of my life.”
It’s going to take a while for everything to feel normal again. In reality, it may never happen. But the Bay Area and the sports world will do everything possible to keep Kobe’s legacy alive and make sure his impact on and off the court is never forgotten.
For one final time — Rest in Peace Mamba.