The legendary impact of Kobe Bryant

Abe Seldowitz, Contributing Reporter

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Kobe Bryant is a legend in the sports world. His impact was felt not only in the United States, but globally. Bryant was able to build a brand for himself that spanned across the world, especially even in China, where his signature shoe line and apparel are very popular.

Bryant had an illustrious career for one of the NBA’s marquee franchises, playing his entire 20-year career for the Los Angeles Lakers from 1996 to-2016. He entered the league as a 17seventeen-year-old kid out of high school, his talent so remarkable that he was able to skip college and make an immediate impact in the basketball world. Bryant achieved a plethora of accolades that any fan would find impressive: five NBAworld championships, 18 All-Star Game appearances, four All-Star game MVP awards, two NBA Finals MVPs and a regular-season MVP award. However, his work ethic and determination are what truly highlight his greatness. 

Kobe Bryant is known as the closest thing to Michael Jordan the 2000’s generation has to Michael Jordan. Jordan was known for his unceasing desire to win, even playing an NBA finals game with the flu and willing his team to win. Bryant mirrored Jordan in his tireless work ethic and willingness to do anything to win. 

As Tulane student Jude Papillion put it, “Throughout his life, Kobe worked relentlessly to improve his craft and he strove to be the best. He did this not only during his basketball career, but during his retirement, as he continued to be an advocate for both men’s and women’s basketball, wrote children’s books, and even won an Academy Award for his short film ‘Dear Basketball’.” 

Bryant’s work ethic not only served him well on the basketball court, but in his work off the court. Bryant is a role model for people from all walks of life, not just basketball players. 

One thread all legends have in common is symbolizing something. To many, Kobe Bryant symbolized the global evolution of basketball. 

As Tulane senior Blake Siegel stated, “his impact on the game will never be matched. Kobe is a symbol of basketball for both my generation, the new generation and the old generation… he’s inspired basketball players from all over the world and his influence will never die.” 

Not only did Bryant symbolize the game of basketball, but the evolution of the game globally. In foreign countries such as China and Japan, Bryant’s influence is well-documented through his signature basketball apparel line. His brand spread to Asia and Europe where young basketball players wear his apparel while trying to make his signature fadeaway shot.  

NBA fans have pushed to make Kobe Bryant the new logo of the league. The current logo belongs to another Lakers great, point guard Jerry West. West played from 1960 to-1974, with his impact having lasted decades. Kobe Bryant retired from basketball in 2016, and the fact that there are already movements to make him the logo of the NBA is a testament to how beloved and appreciated Kobe truly was.