Boston Reacts To The Tragic Loss Of Kobe And Gianna Bryant, As Well As The Seven Other Victims Of The Crash

It’s been a difficult few days dealing with the loss of one of the great sports icons of all-time, his daughter who was determined to follow in his footsteps, and seven of their friends.  Every athlete or fan of sports in general has in some way been impacted by Kobe Bryant over the past 25 years.  For people in Boston, he might have been the most well-respected villain we’ll ever have the privilege of rooting against. 

As a young kid, I personally was a fan of Kobe in the early 2000’s.  From 2008 to 2010, I loved to hate him for obvious reasons. He was the enemy.  But as that chapter of the storied rivalry came to a close and LeBron stepped in as our new biggest threat, I grew an immense appreciation for Kobe because I recognized that he was not only a part of a dying breed, he was the leader of that dying breed.  Pierce, Garnett, Shaq, Iverson, Duncan, Nowitzki, McGrady, Carter, Kidd, the ‘04 Pistons, the run that the Spurs had, the Celtics’ Big Three run.  In one way or another, it was all influenced by Kobe.  He was the guy that you had to gun for if you wanted to be the best.  As Pierce said in a recent Instagram post, Kobe set the greatness bar for their generation. 

That legacy hasn’t been lost on the younger generations either.  Jayson Tatum credits Kobe as the reason he started playing basketball.  His intensity, his work ethic, and the results they produced are still considered a gold standard throughout the league.

The outpouring of support since Sunday’s tragic events has been both beautiful and heartbreaking.  The level of admiration that Boston fans and athletes have for Kobe has been on full display, and it’s been a stark reminder that this is so much more than a sport.  All of a sudden, losing Game 7 of the 2010 Finals doesn’t seem so bad.

Here’s how Boston teams, athletes, and coaches have reacted to the news:

 

Celtics

Bill Belichick

Kevin Garnett

Bill Russell

Paul Pierce

 

Marcus Smart

Jayson Tatum, who Bryant has mentored for the past couple years

Doc Rivers

Brian Scalabrine

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You changed our generation. RIP brother

A post shared by Brian Scalabrine (@whitemamba) on

Cedric Maxwell

David Ortiz

Bruins

Nomar Garciaparra

Rob Gronkowski

 

Tom Brady

Julian Edelman

Brad Stevens

Shaquille O’Neal.  Not necessarily a “Boston athlete” but he endeared himself to the city during his one-year stint.  Most known for his dominance with the Lakers alongside Kobe. This one really hurts.

 

Our thoughts are with all nine victims of the crash as well as their loved ones.  Rest In Peace.

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