Stab Magazine | Surf Community Says Goodbye To Kobe Bryant

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Surf Community Says Goodbye To Kobe Bryant

“The pursuit of greatness, regardless the field, is intriguing.” – Matt Biolos

news // Jan 28, 2020
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Everything was normal Sunday morning.Then it wasn’t.

As news came through that NBA legend Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter, Giana, and seven others had died in a fiery helicopter crash on a foggy Calabasas hill social media channels were flooded with utter disbelief.

Could one of the most iconic athletes of his generation, someone who had accomplished so much and still had the world to give, suddenly be gone just like that?

For Southern California surfers the news hit especially close to home. Kobe was the face of the Los Angeles Lakers for 20 years. He lived in Newport Beach. He developed relationships with a number of surfers. And he inspired countless others.

“The pursuit of greatnesses, regardless the field, is intriguing. His skills made him super human. His mistakes and flaws made him human. I don’t think any other athlete in history defines LA, or Southern California for that matter, like he does,” reflected …Lost’s Matt Biolos.

“No athlete outside of surfing inspired me like Kobe has,” wrote Billy Kemper.

“I’m in complete shock! I’ve always looked up to you Kobe!” added Jett Schilling.

Like the rest of the world, the loss of Kobe has reverberated throughout the surf community. Love goes out to all of the family and friends of those lost in this tragedy. Words can only offer minor comfort in times like this, but here are some of the more heartfelt posts from surfers touched by the remarkable life and times of Kobe Bryant.

The world is feeling a great sadness after yesterday. As an athlete there are so many things i admire you for. Your life has transcended far past sports, people just love who you are. Your dedication and demand of excellence in yourself and in others is inspiring to say the least and I am so humbled to have been apart of one of your teams in my career. Your level of greatness helped us all believe and seek for it in ourselves. You and gigi will be greatly missed, prayers and love for your family and all those involved. — Sage Erickson

No athlete outside of surfing inspired me like Kobe has. He truly was the definition of hard work and dedication. Thank you for being the greatest of all time and inspiring every human to live their dreams! — Billy Kemper

I started watching basketball relatively late in life. When Kobe signed with The Lakers at 17 years old, @maxdermind and @dramosssss told me “Your going to want to follow along on this one”. I did…for a solid 15 years. Watched all 5 Titles. I honestly have not watched a complete game since his final game, 60 point performance, a few years back. I retired as a fan, when he did as a player. Strange, but true.

“He was so interesting to me. The pursuit of greatnesses, regardless the field, is intriguing. His skills made him super human. His mistakes and flaws made him human. I don’t think any other athlete in history defines LA (or Southern California for that matter) like he does. Maybe Magic Johnson, I dunno. He was the complete entertainer in the city of entertainment.

But LA is going to carry the loss of this incredible athlete for decades, maybe a century. It’s a wound to the city that may never fully heal. Like Lou Gehrig in New York. In LA, Kobe Bryant will live forever. — Matt Biolos

Gutted. Truly gutted at a soul level. In my time as a NBA Western Conference sideline reporter for ESPN/ABC I got to spend a lot of time with this man. To say he was gracious with me was an understatement. He knew I was out of my element when I came to the league from X Games and he went out of his way to make me feel welcome in the locker room and make sure the other players gave me time. There were many times when he’d be getting treated in the training room – off limits for press – and he’d tell security to let me in anyway and we’d chat while he’d be getting taped up. I was always blown away by how curious he was about skateboarding and snowboarding and he loved to give me his take on them. After our post game interviews he’d always be sure to dap me up with a pound. And anytime I’d run into him in LA over the years, he remained the same. May he and his beautiful daughter Gianna Rest In Peace. Sending love and healing to his family. –– Sal Masekela

Kobe Bryant sharing some gems on training, competing, the Olympics, family and life (and that one time he tried surfing). The GOAT met with @wsl Olympic hopefuls at @mambasportsacademy last year. — USA Surfing

I’m in complete shock! I’ve always looked up to you Kobe! — Jett Schilling

Rest In Peace Kobe. My prayers go out to the Bryant family and everyone else involved in the crash. Thanks for being so inspiring to me. — Caroline Marks

NO WORDS …SAD DAY IN LA.. R.I.P. TO THE KING. — Brothers Marshall


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