The outpouring of grief over the early loss of Kobe Bryant at 41 in a helicopter crash that took the lives of nine, including his 13 year old daughter, has been quite a spectacle to watch.
The NBA great, one of the most prolific players of his era, of any era, had a very large following in basketball and sports circles everywhere, including a huge place in basketball in China, where Bryant was revered.
Fans across the nation, across the spectrum of the sports world, and among players and athletes everywhere is that Bryant was a giant competitor, a winner through and through, and a positive spirit in a game dominated by only a handful of outrageously talented players.
Bryant was a giant of the first order, the guiding force that led the Los Angeles Lakers to so many World Championships.
He was a basketball prodigy right from the start.
As a high school player there was very likely no one ever better than he.
He went straight to the NBA becoming a star overnight because of his aggressive play.
He played great ball. He was a star athlete. He built a great fortune as a businessman.
There were a few dings in his career – but through it all he always kept his eye on the prize.
The sporting world needs more Kobe Bryants.