Kobe Bryant Took Pride in Inspiring People, Even More Than Winning Championships

Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna, 13, were among those killed Sunday in a helicopter crash in Calabasas

Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers celebrates
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Contrary to popular belief and even his own words at times, Kobe Bryant wasn't all about championships and points. He was a competitor like few that have ever existed, and in that mode, he said things like, "Friends come and go, but banners hang forever."

But, as his career was winding down, a philosophical man opened up and appeared to share what mattered more than the titles, trophies and points.

"The game is bigger than scoring points and winning championships," Bryant said when asked what the standing ovations in away arenas during his final season meant to him. On the final road trip of his NBA career in 2016, he said, "It's really about having been able to move somebody or inspire somebody for a brief moment to want to be a better version of themselves."

Bryant added, "The fans have certainly done that for me; they've inspired me to be the best version of myself. That's what the game is really all about. When you retire and the championship trophies are sitting there and dust collects on them, you really want to create something that stands the test of time--moves somebody."

As a city mourns, a league pays tribute and athletes and fans from around the world pay their respects and share how they were inspired by no. 8 and no. 24, one cannot deny that he meant more than points and championships.

Los Angeles lost an icon, and the city mourned the death of Kobe Bryant. Beverly White reported on NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020.

From China to Chino Hills, from Mission Viejo to Milan and everywhere in between, Kobe Bean Bryant moved and inspired people.

Ultimately, he meant so much more than points and championships. The outpouring of love, memories, experiences and thoughts from those who knew him personally, along with a planet full of people that didn't but felt like they did, shows that.

Even in death, Kobe Bryant inspires people. He moves people.

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