Remembering Kobe Bryant: One Year Later

By Hayden Brooks

January 25, 2021

2020 might be a thing of the past, but the year certainly left a mark, particularly when it came to the many celebrities we lost. Believe it or not, January 26th is the one-year anniversary of the death of Kobe Bryant, who passed away in a tragic helicopter accident, alongside nine others, including his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna. In honor of his legacy, and everyone who has paid tribute to the late, great NBA giant, iHeartRadio is taking a look back at his accomplishments and the ways in which friends and family remembered the icon.

The former Los Angeles Laker, who was known as one of the best and most hardworking athletes in the world, played 20 seasons in the NBA, won five NBA championships, was also an 18-time All-Star and a four-time All-Star MVP.

Photo: Getty Images

Here was Kobe in his element during the 1997 NBA All-Star Slam Dunk Contest.

Photo: Getty Images

Kobe and LeBron James posed for portraits after defeating Spain in the men's gold medal basketball game at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

Photo: Getty Images

Kobe and his family arrived at the premiere of Disney's A Wrinkle In Time in 2018

Photo: Getty Images

Kobe posed with his family at his jersey retirement ceremony in 2017 — the basketball star retired in 2016.

Photo: Getty Images

And here he was holding his Oscar for Best Animated Short film in 2018 for Dear Basketball, which he wrote and narrated.

Photo: Getty Images

Kobe and Vanessa Bryant glowed together at the 2019 Vanity Fair Oscar Party.

Photo: Getty Images

Kobe and Gianna attended a basketball game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Atlanta Hawks in 2019.

When Byrant and nine others passed away in the tragic helicopter accident, the world was shocked. In fact, days later, the folks behind the Grammys even came together to honor the late star at the ceremony's venue: Los Angeles' Staples Center. Apart from being included in the 2020 Oscars In Memoriam section, the tributes for the legendary basketball champion did not stop there. Director Spike Lee appeared on the red carpet in a bright Lakers’ color suit with the late athlete's number ’24’ on his lapels.

Bryant won an Oscar for Best Animated Short film in 2018, so when Matthew A. Cherry accepted the same award in 2020, he gave a nod to Bryant in his speech, saying "This award is dedicated to Kobe Brant. May we all have as great of a second act as he had."

Photos: Getty Images

To celebrate the life of Kobe on what would have been his 42nd birthday, Nike launched “Mamba Week” starting August 23, 2020. In addition to making a $1 million donation to the Mamba and Mambacita Foundation, the sportswear company released Lakers jerseys featuring both his No. 8 and No. 24 and several versions of the Kobe 5 Protro sneaker, ultimately benefitting funding for youth sports initiatives.

His wife, Vanessa Bryant, took some time before sharing several tributes to Kobe on her social media, particularly a moving message on his would-be birthday. "To my baby~ Happy birthday. I love you and miss you more than I can ever explain. I wish you and Gigi were here to celebrate YOU! I wish I could make you your fav food or a birthday cake with my Gigi," she wrote in August.

Plus, here's Kobe's former teammate and good friend, Pau Gasol.

Street artists also paid tribute to Bryant with murals throughout Los Angeles and all across the country.

Photos: Getty Images

The tributes even made their way overseas — and that's when you know you've made a global impact.

Photo: Getty Images

Naples, Italy

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Valanzuela, Philippines

Thankfully, his legacy lives on strong, especially courtesy of The Lakers who've honored him with tributes and subtle nods throughout the season.

Photo: Getty Images

LeBron James even wore a finger sleeve dedicated to Kobe Bryant.

The Lakers were unbeatable whenever they wore their Kobe-designed Black Mamba jerseys during the 2020 season ...

and that eventually led them to their 17th championship title.

Photos: Getty Images

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