On Sunday, 25 January, the world was shocked and deeply saddened to learn that NBA icon Kobe Bryant, along with his daughter Gigi and seven other passengers, had tragically passed away in a helicopter accident on the outskirts of California. Having spent 20 seasons perfecting his craft on the hardwood floor and providing the world with countless moments of greatness, it can be easy to forget just how much of a great Kobe was off the court too.
Over the course of a highly successful NBA career, Kobe elevated himself from an eccentric and driven 17-year-old, to a first ballot Hall of Fame player who is carved into the pillars in the minds of multiple generations of fans and peers alike.
When Kobe officially announced his retirement, it acted as an organic nudge to fans to fully appreciate the greatness they had been fortunate enough to witness over the course a 20 year period. Not without his share of controversial times, Kobe had treated fans to a host of moments and memories that will live on to the end of time, causing those same fans to acknowledge a level of greatness seldom seen.
Finding moments of on-court magic or history making plays that showcase Kobe Bryant's greatness is easy, but here we look at eight - a fitting number - of things he achieved off the court that highlight his greatness in just as equal measure.
A Self-Proclaimed Newcastle Utd aficionado. Lover of all things Sport (except rugby and golf, no-one likes those). Whether it's Wrestling, Movies, TV or Comics, you can be sure to find an impassioned Kent-based opinion here.