Kobe Byrant’s Legacy


Kobe Bryant’s legacy extends beyond his own success on the court.

By Taryn Ryder | Yahoo

Bryant, along with his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, died Sunday in a helicopter crash that also claimed the lives of seven others. While he’ll be remembered as an 18-time All-Star and a five-time NBA champion who gifted basketball fans with 20-years of memorable moments, Bryant wanted more. After retirement, he had goals of what former President Barack Obama called a “meaningful second act.” Bryant, who was 41, was well on his way writing that next chapter.

While the Lakers superstar will always be known for the impact he made on the sport, his younger fans associate Bryant with more than just basketball. He was an Oscar winner. An author of inspiring young adult novels. His daughter Gianna’s (who was known as Gigi) basketball coach. Here are a few things Bryant will be remembered for off the court.

He was an Oscar and Emmy winner.

In 2018, Bryant became the first NBA player to win an Oscar. It was for his animated short, Dear Basketball, based on his 2015 poem of the same name that he wrote when he retired.

“As basketball players, we’re really supposed to shut up and dribble,” he said during his acceptance speech, mocking Fox News host Laura Ingraham’s controversial statement. “I’m glad we’re doing much more than that.”

In an interview with the Undefeated prior to his win, Bryant said just the nomination was validating.

“I’ve always been told that as basketball players the expectation is that you play. This is all you know. This is all you do. Don’t think about handling finances. Don’t think about going into business. Don’t think that you want to be a writer — that’s cute,” he said. “I got that a lot. What do you want to do when you retire? ‘Well, I want to be a storyteller.’ That’s cute. This is … a form of validation for people to look and say, ‘OK, he really can do something other than dribble and shoot.'”

Bryant’s collaborator, longtime Disney animator Glen Keane, spoke with Yahoo Entertainment two years ago about bonding with the star, despite not knowing much about basketball.

“Kobe and I found that we had this connection of careers that we were really identified with and yet we had stepped away from — him with the Lakers and me with Disney,” Keane explained. “There was something a little bit scary with this whole new path that we were taking, and yet thrilling.”

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