Kobe Bryant fans gathered to pay tribute to him at the scene of the crash in which the former Lakers player died, in California, on January 27, 2020. - Mark RALSTON / AFP
- Former Lakers star Kobe Bryant was killed Sunday evening in a helicopter crash with her 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others.
- Many personalities have since reacted to the death of the man who marked the NBA and basketball for almost twenty years.
- The users of "20 Minutes" also paid tribute to their idol.
An icon, a hero, a legend. Words abound in the testimony of Internet users of 20 Minutes to describe Kobe Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash with his daughter Gianna on Sunday evening. All praise the immense player that was for almost twenty years the star of the Lakers, nicknamed Black Mamba. He simply had "incredible talent, fans around the world, and people like me who loved to hate him when he planted an assassin basket against your favorite team," said Flo, adding: "Respect immense for this extraordinary champion. "
Not easy for fans of opposing teams to see this young player disembark and win. “The Kobe who wore the number 8 was incredible and his association with the Shaq, mythical, legendary. I had the chance to see them play together, finding the equivalent seems impossible to me, even if today we see emerging a new exceptional generation. But Kobe and Shaq are two characters in a novel, "says Steeve, who also looks back on the last less brilliant years of the star. “The last seasons should not tarnish his work, his career, his enormous heritage. I am 40 years old, I have lived through all of his seasons and I will remember an incredible athlete and a boundless determination ”, he concludes.
"An incredible mentality, a worker, someone who never lets go"
“We all dreamed of watching his dunks, his buzzer beaters , his last historic match with 60 points scored when he was 38 years old, ending the game by being unable to walk, that was Kobe! An incredible mentality, a worker, someone who never lets go! lists Nathanaël. Mamba Mentality inspired me and it has inspired an incredible number of basketball players. "
Mamba mentality, everyone refers to and celebrates it. "There are athletes who like to win and others who hate to lose, this is what differentiates the champions from the legends, Kobe is definitely in the second category", believes Eric, who, like many others, cites as an example the match of Bryant during which, injured in Achilles heel, he shoots two free throws before going out on injury. "Determination, commitment, competitiveness, there is no other champion to whom these words correspond better than to Kobe Bryant ..." adds Jérôme.
"A reference, one of those legends that we think immortal"
"Kobe was a benchmark in basketball, one of those legends that are thought to be immortal, invincible," said Florian. A champion who will leave his mark on the NBA, basketball and sport, for Olivier who simply summarizes: "There is Jordan, and then there is Kobe. "
Among the fans of the Lakers player who brought us their testimonies, many have described memories of youth. Kobe Bryant rocked their childhood and adolescence with his dunks and his talent. "I started basketball in 1996, the year he arrived, I grew up with him ..." remembers Florian, who says he found it very hard to believe the news of his death on Sunday evening.
"I was trying to play like him, to look like him, I even had an Afro cut ..."
Just like Thibaut, who also lost the hero of his childhood: "I started basketball at 5 years old in 1998 after seeing a match on Canal in the middle of the night with the voice of George Eddie and .. especially an insolent number 8 of talent, little Afro, big mind and varied and incredible skills . My life has never been the same. At the age of 7, I sold half of my toys in a flea market with my mother to buy my Kobe jersey myself. Unconditional fan, I lived the good, the bad and the great moments of his career. It made me dream for twenty years, inspired me to the point that my skyblogs were dedicated to it and that my nicknames on the networks always have Bryant in it. I am devastated. "
For Steve too, Kobe was his "youth hero": "I tried on the Saint-Laurent playgrounds of Maroni to play like him, to look like him, I even had an Afro cut ..." "I have the impression of having lost a friend who animated my student evenings ”, explains Fabien, who got up at night to watch the player's performances. And he is not the only one: "He was the first basketball player to get me up in the middle of the night at the age of 13," said Guillaume, a basketball fan.
"I grew up with Allen, Iverson, Vince Carter ... but especially Mr. Kobe Bryant"
Many have the feeling of having grown up with it, when the global Internet was not yet what it has become ... “I feel like I have always known it. I will remember my first visit to the Internet all my life. The first site I visited was nba.com. The page that takes forever to appear shows an image of him in his Lakers jersey. It was the first thing I thought of when I learned of his death. I was happy at 13 to see a simple photo of him on the Internet. I imitated him on a basketball court without the same talent. I watched his top 10 exploits every day when I first discovered YouTube. In short, it was part of my life. I am deeply sad, ”says Kenny.
Benjamin also remembers his college years, marked by the player. “I bought the Kobe jersey at the very beginning of his career around 1997-1998. The only flocked jersey I have ever had, all sports combined. With the number 8 - Bryant, on the back. Which made me call myself “Dany Brillant” for a few weeks, but it was worth it. "Getting up in the morning to go to nba.com to see the results of the night, exchanging videotapes of matches to see your idol ... It's a part of me that goes out," says Karl. Same sadness in Yahia: “Kobe, it's all my childhood. I grew up with Allen, Iverson, Vince Carter… but especially Mr. Kobe Bryant. "
"His character motivated me to get up when I fell"
Kobe Bryant, a childhood or adolescence companion for some, but for many, an example to follow not only on the playgrounds . For Mhoussine, the player counted a lot including outside the field: “He ended up having an infinite inspiration on me. He forced me to repeat my football ranges, he pushed me to succeed in my studies, he made me hate the word failure and gave me a taste for adversity. Black mamba, that nickname says it all. Kobe has marked my life like never before and I mourn today the loss of a loved one (like a close relative). "
Same feeling in Gian: “Kobe inspired me enormously. When I discovered small basketball, I immediately admired Kobe. Not only for his game but for his philosophy of work, of life. Refuse failure. Always train and never give up. It is a lesson that I have kept within me since my youth. More than a player, I lose a model. For François too, Black Mamba went beyond the field: "He was much more than a basketball player: it was an image of hope, courage and fighting spirit. It was his game that made me love basketball, his words that helped me get back on my feet in difficult times and more, his character that motivated me to get up when I fell, "says Nicolas.
Read our file on Kobe Bryant
This is Arnaud, who sums up in beauty what many wish to say to their idol: "For all the" Kobeeeeeeee "launched by the kids when aiming for the trash, for all fists clenched after an important basket to" be fully like Kobe ”, for all the“ yes but dad, I already have the jersey but it's the 8, now he's got the 24 it's not the same, steuppppppppp ”, for all the fadeaways that we have miserably tried 'imitate and who have mostly finished in beautiful air-ball , for all the “stop doing your Kobe” as soon as a teammate was biting a little too much but ESPECIALLY for the love of this sport and the hours spent saying “But it's abused, it's too strong”: Thank you Kobe. "
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