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KSLSports.com Team Remembers Lakers Legend Kobe Bryant

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – After the passing of Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, the KSLSports.com team looked back on the impact that the future Hall of Famer had in the state of Utah and in the clashes against the Jazz.

Bryant and his daughter Gianna died in a helicopter crash with 7 other passengers on Sunday morning on a steep hillside in dense morning fog just north of Los Angeles.

According to reports, Bryant and his daughter were traveling to a basketball game for Gianna.

Jeremiah Jensen, SportsBeat

I am stunned. Sad. Heartbroken for his family. I had several interactions with Kobe over the years. When you asked him questions, especially late in his career, he always gave a well measured, thoughtful response. One of the all-time greats. I can’t believe he’s gone.

Sam Farnsworth, SportsBeat

As a Jazz fan growing up I’ll never forget the air balls Kobe shot as the Jazz beat the Lakers in the playoffs on the way to their first NBA Finals appearance. But I also won’t forget the 60 points he scored, sinking the Jazz in the final game of his career at Staples Center.

Other than the first two or three seasons of his career, most of his 20-year career made playing in the Western Conference a nightmare for the Jazz. Kobe set the standard and was the type of player that the Jazz dreamed of being able to build a franchise around.

Above all, he was a fierce competitor who’s name became common place in discussions of the greatest of all-time. He left the game in a good place and even recognized that fact in his final tweet after Lebron James passed Bryant for third all-time in scoring.

Much respect to you, Kobe. Rest In Peace.

Alex Kirry, KSL’s Unrivaled

What a truly terrible loss for the hoops world. Kobe Bryant, like so many of icon and legend status in the game means more to the sport than stats and championships. Bryant was known as a fierce competitor, MVP and champion but he was doing so much to further the game of basketball for both men and women. He wanted a better world for his four daughters. Jazz fans may have despised the Black Mamba’s ability to beat Utah (and anyone else in his path to a ring) but there is no question he should be respected as one of the greatest players of all time.

Scott Mitchell, KSL’s Unrivaled

It’s always sad when someone dies, yet, it feels much worse when it’s someone that dies way too young and under tragic circumstances. Kobe Bryant passing away in a tragic helicopter crash certainly brings those deep feelings of sadness, he certainly died way too young. Hard to wrap your brain around this, our hero’s and sports legends never die. They can do anything.

The events of the tragedy, however, bring us back to our mortality, no matter how great and even mythical that our sports hero’s appear they too are subject to the inevitable reality of life; which is  that all of us, no matter how great or small will ultimately succumb to the cruel clutches of death.

So those that are still living are left to make sense of it all, to remember, celebrate and mourn. My heart certainly goes out to Kobe’s family. Hopefully they can find some measure of peace as they wade through the emotions of this enormous loss.

How can I celebrate what Kobe meant to the sports world, how can I pay respect and learn from his life? My memory of Kobe is he came in like a lamb and went out like a lion. In his first career NBA playoff semifinal series against the Utah Jazz his last second shot in game 5 that would have given the Lakers the victory, fell short, which gave the Jazz the game and series.

I was elated, finally the Jazz had beat the hated Lakers. In this moment of victory my though about Kobe was this kid is nothing to worry about, I mean he is barely out of high school. He is no Magic Johnson and certainly not a clutch performer. Unfortunately for Jazz fans, it was the last time that anything Kobe Bryant did would fall short.

Fast forward to his last game, which ironically was against the Utah Jazz, Kobe went off and scored 60 points. In between that first shot and his last game was an NBA career that few could match. Five NBA titles, MVP’s, All-NBA honors, All-Star appearances, Olympic medals, and of course a Hall of Famer. There was nothing you could achieve as an NBA player that Kobe didn’t attain.

I am a big believer in it’s not how you start but how you finish. Kobe was a finisher, driven to be excellent and become a master of his craft.

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