As the one-year anniversary of the death of Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant came this month, it caused many to reflect once again on his life, legacy and what he meant to them.
For most, the subject is still one that is difficult to discuss. However, for fellow Lakers legend Magic Johnson it is one that he has never stopped talking about. Very few can relate to the celebrity of Kobe like Magic, and as members of the Lakers family the two undoubtedly shared a special bond.
Ever since that tragic day in 2020, Bryant’s legacy has continued to live on as stories about him came from everywhere, but there are likely very few have spoken about him more than Johnson.
In an interview with Brad Turner of the L.A. Times, Johnson revealed he has discussed Bryant in every speaking engagement:
“Every time I do a Zoom speaking engagement, I have mentioned his name,” Johnson said. “They always say, ‘What a year for you?’ I say how the Lakers won, but they won for Kobe and then when we go to the Q&A part of it, they are always going to ask a question about Kobe. I did 45 and it has been 45 times Kobe has come up in the conversations.
“His legacy will always be here, his spirit will be here, people will always talk about him because, again, not just what he did on the court, because we’re going to talk about that. But also, what he meant to his family, to women’s sports, to those who are homeless, to those who were struggling with something. They’d get a call from him, ‘Keep your head up.’ He was just unique and special. Yeah, I always have him on my mind.”
Unknown stories have continued to pour in about Kobe, his words, his actions, and what he stood for and they all combine to allow his legacy to continue to grow and impact everyone worldwide. Bryant was a legend in every sense of the word and because of that, no one wants to stop talking about him and what he meant to them.
Lakers didn’t plan formal tribute to Kobe
The subject remains an extremely difficult one for many within the Lakers organization, and around the league, to speak about. In fact some, like Marc Gasol, have admitted that he still doesn’t feel comfortable talking about Kobe’s death.
Last season’s Lakers learned of the tragedy while on a plane from Philadelphia, a game in which LeBron James passed Bryant on the all-time scoring list. Kobe’s last tweet was paying tribute to him for that accomplishment.
With it still being such a hard time for many, the Lakers did not have any formal tributes this year.
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