The Celebration of Kobe Bryant Day: August 24

By: Kelton Brooks

Tears trickled down the faces of millions on January 26, 2020. 

Sure, basketball fans know Kobe, but Kobe Bryant felt intangible to the world as a man they never met. 

In August 2020, Orange County supervisors voted in favor of declaring Aug. 24 as Kobe Bryant Day, which comes a day after his would-be 43rd birthday. 

The day, Aug. 24, honors the two jersey numbers Bryant wore during his 20-year NBA career. In 2017, he became the first player in NBA history to have two jersey numbers retired by the same team. 

RelatedCalifornia Lawmaker Wants to Dedicate Aug. 24 as ‘Kobe Bryant Day’ 

Fans, family, players, former players, the entire world celebrated the life and legacy of the player who won five NBA championships during his illustrious career with the Los Angeles Lakers.  

Fans first fell in love with the player. If it wasn’t his uncanny ability to knock down contested, circus shots, it was his soul-snatching game winners. 

But everyone soon grew close to the man. The “Black Mamba” was tenacious, focused and driven. If the goal is in reach, strike. It is the essence of the “Mamba Mentality.” 

Bryant was and still is a hero to many, especially Nick Eley. 

“As a kid, your favorite athletes are some of your first real life superheroes,” said the Mississippi-native in a heartfelt farewell letter to his idol a day after Bryant’s death. 

“I was 6 years old when Kobe Bryant debuted in the NBA,” Eley wrote. “I was still young enough to believe in superpowers and a magical passing of the torch when he dropped 55 [points] on Michael [Jordan] in March of 2003. It was as if Mike had taken his mythical basketball from the Space Jam movie and allowed Kobe to absorb his powers through it. … For the kid in me, Kobe had that same power. For whatever he said about being content with being retired and gone from the game, I never thought he COULDN’T, under the right circumstances, place his hands on that mythical ball and regain his powers once again.” 

Eley recently got a tattoo to honor one of his heroes: #LongLiveTheBean 

Eley even named his dog Kobe. 

The helicopter crash that took Bryant’s life also killed Payton Chester, 13; Sarah Chester, 45; Alyssa Altobelli, 14; Keri Altobelli, 46; John Altobelli, 56; Christina Mauser, 38; Ara Zobayan, 50, and Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter, Gianna. 

Gianna Bryant was everything her father was on the court. Even she didn’t play basketball with the same aggression as her prolific dad, he was still a mighty advocate for the WNBA. 

Bryant will always be remembered in the world of basketball, in the world of sports and live eternally as a Laker legend. 

Related: Kobe Bryant posthumously inducted into Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame 

Latest in News


Mount Vernon Police Under Investigation by US Justice Department


Playboy Names Cardi B Its Creative Director


Authorities Search for Parents of Suspect in Michigan School Shooting

Zaila Avant-garde, spelling bee


Spelling Bee Champ Zaila Avant-garde Is Sports Illustrated’s 2021 SportsKid

Incapacitated Woman Birth


Ex-Nurse Who Impregnated Woman With Disabilities Gets 10 Years in Prison


GoFundMe Removes Fundraisers In Support of Arbery Murderer


Prosecution Rests Its Case Against Smollett as Defense Requests Mistrial


Ilhan Omar Receives Death Threats After Islamophobic Comments by Boebert