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Thank you, Kobe.

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Thank you, Kobe.

NBA Finals Game 7: Boston Celtics v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

It’s been a few daya since Kobe Bryant and his young daughter GiGi passed away in a horrific helicopter accident. It was pretty emotional overall yesterday, just reading tweets, reddit threads, comments, instagram posts, etc. about Kobe and re-living some of his finest moments on and off the court.

So I wanted to thank him for his contributions to the game of basketball and his influence, not only as a player, but as a person as well.

Kobe, thank you for all you have done for the game of basketball. You were an inspiration to so many young children growing up. Whether it be shooting something in to a trash can in school and shouting “KOBE” or just imitating your jumpers and game-winners in the drive-way, you inspired kids all around the globe to be a better basketball player, or to become a basketball player.

Thank you, Kobe, for giving young ball-players around the world a reason to wear the number 8 or the number 24. Every kid has a reason for their number, and you were the reason that countless young ball-players wore that number 24 on their jersey. Because you inspired them.

Thank you, Kobe, for giving us some of the best moments of basketball that many of us have ever witnessed. As an eight year old kid, I remember watching the ESPN highlights of you dropping 81 points on the Raptors and simply just watching in awe. How could a man drop that many points in an NBA game? Or when you banked in a running three-pointer against the Miami Heat at the buzzer? Or when you hit your now iconic game-winner against the Suns in the first round of the 2006 playoffs? And who could forget your grand-finale, when you dropped 60 points on the Jazz in your final game?

Thank you, Kobe, for being must-see TV whenever you were on. You captivated audiences with your tenaciousness and competitiveness and your ability to score at will whenever you wanted. There was no stopping the Black Mamba.

Kobe’s presence will be missed, but his mark and legacy on the game of basketball has forever been etched in history and the game was changed for the better because of Kobe Bryant.

So, Kobe, thank you for your contributions to the game of basketball. Thank you for giving kids around the world a hero to look up to, a favorite player to cheer for, a life-long role model, etc. Thank you. From every sports fan around the world, Lakers fan or not, basketball fan or not, thank you. Thank you.

Kobe Bryant was, is, and always will be, a legend.

Kobe, you will be sorely missed. God rest you and your daughter’s soul.