It has been almost a week since the world was stunned by TMZ’s news that Los Angeles Lakers‘ guard and future Basketball Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant passed away. On Sunday, January 20, 2020, Bryant died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. Other victims included his second oldest daughter Gianna Maria-Onore [Gigi], and seven other passengers were on board.
According to ESPN‘s Adrian Wojnarowski, the helicopter was headed to Bryant’s basketball Mamba Academy because Gigi’s team was scheduled to face Jason Terry’s girls’ basketball team.
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Lindsay McCormick Reveals Bryant Took her Under his Wing
Last week I spoke with Entrepreneur Elevator Pitch’s Lindsay McCormick, who covered the NBA for a variety of publications at the beginning of her career, including ESPN The Magazine, Comcast Sports, and CBS to name a few.
“Kobe is someone incredibly special to me. When I was at the start of my career as a writer at ESPN The Magazine, he took me under his wing. They had me in the locker rooms and on road trips to cover different NBA games. Kobe was someone that reached out to me. We had mutual friends in common, and he helped teach me what it means to be a true journalist from a player’s perspective. At the time, I was just starting out in the industry, and I had a few mentors and a few examples, but I always assumed that it was just about getting the story and moving up the ladder. I didn’t think about the fact that we were covering human beings, even if they were wearing famous jerseys or covered in helmets and pads,” McCormick told me.
“Getting to know Kobe [Bryant] taught me that it is not all about what you see on the court, and as yesterday has confirmed, it is more about what these athletes’ lives look like off the court and the impact that they make. And Kobe is someone that has made a tremendous impact. Whether or not you’re a sports fan and just heard the news, you felt for his family, and it made you hug your loved ones a little bit tighter last night. Or you were a massive Kobe Bryant fan, and you watched him through the years with the Lakers, or you worked in the industry and knew him personally, and he changed your life that way. It is amazing to see the impact that one life can make on so many people.”
Last week, Bill Belichick delivered a touching speech about Bryant after hearing the news of his passing.
“This is an extremely sad time for the entire sports community,” said Belichick via Field Yates. “In my 45 years in the NFL, I have never witnessed a group as captivated as the day Kobe addressed our team [in 2018]. The respect and reverence he commanded far exceeded him being a legendary player. He was a special person with an unmatched passion, intensity, and mentality toward achieving his goals.”