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Kobe Bryant Remembered— the Good and the Bad

The NBA great is mourned, even as his complicated legacy is dissected
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 27, 2020 5:00 PM CST
In this March 28, 2016, file photo, Los Angeles Lakers forward Kobe Bryant looks on before the start of their NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz, in Salt Lake City.   (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)
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(Newser) – The world is mourning Kobe Bryant, with many pointing out the NBA great's complicated legacy. We round up a sampling of the reactions to the 41-year-old's death Sunday in a helicopter crash, which also killed eight others, including his 13-year-old daughter.

  • "I’m screaming right now, cursing into the sky, crying into my keyboard, and I don’t care who knows it," writes Bill Plaschke at the Los Angeles Times, where he launched his column right around the time Bryant launched his career with the LA Lakers. Plaschke last spoke to Bryant a week ago, when he asked him about LeBron James passing him on the all-time scoring list. "The edge was gone. The arms were open. He urged acceptance of LeBron. He preached calm for Lakers fans. He said greatness wasn’t worth anything if you couldn’t share it," Plaschke writes. "The steely-eyed Mamba was purposely moving into a role of a wise, embracing and grateful leader of a community that had shown him so much patience and love."
  • As Robert Silverman points out in the Daily Beast, there was more to Bryant than just his incredible basketball accomplishments. He was accused of raping a 19-year-old in 2003, and though she ultimately refused to testify and the charges were cleared, "it is impossible to read through the legal documents and not come away repulsed," Silverman writes. Yet that doesn't take away from the joy Bryant brought to many, he concludes. "The loss and anguish felt by millions, myself included, is all too real. But if we are to celebrate the life of Kobe Bryant, it means celebrating both a brilliant, beloved, unique performer and a flawed human being—the entire story."

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