2020 might be a thing of the past, but the year certainly left a mark, particularly when it came to the many celebrities we lost. Believe it or not, January 26th is the one-year anniversary of the death ofKobe Bryant, who passed away in a tragic helicopter accident, alongside nine others, including his 13-year-old daughter,Gianna. In honor of his legacy, and everyone who has paid tribute to the late, great NBA giant, iHeartRadio is taking a look back at his accomplishments and the ways in which friends and family remembered the icon.
The former Los Angeles Laker, who was known as one of the best and most hardworking athletes in the world, played 20 seasons in the NBA, won five NBA championships, was also an 18-time All-Star and a four-time All-Star MVP.
Kobe and Gianna attended a basketball game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Atlanta Hawks in 2019.
When Byrant and nine others passed away in the tragic helicopter accident, the world was shocked. In fact, days later, the folks behind the Grammys even came together to honor the late star at the ceremony's venue: Los Angeles' Staples Center. Apart from being included in the 2020 Oscars In Memoriam section, the tributes for the legendary basketball champion did not stop there. DirectorSpike Leeappeared on the red carpet in a bright Lakers’ color suit with the late athlete's number ’24’ on his lapels.
Bryant won an Oscar for Best Animated Short film in 2018, so whenMatthew A. Cherryaccepted the same award in 2020, he gave a nod to Bryant in his speech, saying "This award is dedicated to Kobe Brant. May we all have as great of a second act as he had."
To celebrate the life of Kobe on what would have been his 42nd birthday, Nike launched “Mamba Week” starting August 23, 2020. In addition to making a $1 million donation to the Mamba and Mambacita Foundation, the sportswear company released Lakers jerseys featuring both his No. 8 and No. 24 and several versions of the Kobe 5 Protro sneaker, ultimately benefitting funding for youth sports initiatives.
His wife, Vanessa Bryant, took some time before sharing several tributes to Kobe on her social media, particularly a moving message on his would-be birthday. "To my baby~ Happy birthday. I love you and miss you more than I can ever explain. I wish you and Gigi were here to celebrate YOU! I wish I could make you your fav food or a birthday cake with my Gigi," she wrote in August.