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The Loss Of Kobe Bryant As An Ambassador And Torchbearer

CLEVELAND, OH - FEBRUARY 10: Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers guards LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers during the first half at Quicken Loans Arena on February 10, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The death of Kobe Bryant, who along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, was one of nine passengers killed in a helicopter crash Sunday morning sent shockwaves through the NBA. In the latest Jazz Notes Podcast, Ben Anderson of KSL Sports and Sarah Todd of the Deseret News discussed the impact Bryant had on the NBA as a player, as an ambassador, and the complicated feelings surrounding Bryant throughout his NBA career. 

Anderson and Todd were able to talk to Utah Jazz coach Quin Snyder, and players Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert, and Ed Davis at shootaround about their relationships with Bryant, and the impact his loss was having on the team as they prepared to host the Houston Rockets.

Both Snyder and Davis spent a season with Bryant in Los Angeles and were visibly upset when discussing the loss of their former teammate. 

In the podcast, Anderson and Todd discuss the role of young stars like Mitchell will play for the league going forward after what is destined to become a turning point for the NBA. For both hosts, Bryant was the first player whose career was fully observed from being drafted into the league, to winning championships to his retirement. 

When meeting with the media, Mitchell was able to speak on Bryant from the perspective of a young player who never played against the Lakers star but observed his rivalry with LeBron James growing up. 

Bryant had quickly become an ambassador not just for the NBA but for women’s basketball as he and his late daughter were often seen taking in both men’s and women’s professional and amateur games. 

Todd expressed her hopes that more players will be willing to carry on Bryant’s enthusiasm and support of the women’s game as it lost one of its most famous torchbearers. 

Listen to the entire podcast in the link below.