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Kobe Bryant's Legacy, Controversy And More11:11
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NBA legend Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash on Sunday in Calabasas, Calif. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images)
NBA legend Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash on Sunday in Calabasas, Calif. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images)

NBA legend Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash on Sunday in Calabasas, Calif. Eight others in the helicopter, including Kobe Bryant's 13-year-old daughter Gianna, also died.

This week, The Athletic's Michael Lee and Lindsay Gibbs, writer of the newsletter 'Power Plays,' join Only A Game's Karen Given to discuss Kobe's legacy, controversy and more.

Highlights From The Conversation:

Michael Lee On Kobe's Influence On Today's NBA Players:

"I think later in his career, he realized that ... individual accolades and honors can only be so fulfilling. And toward the end, he recognized that he needed to pay it forward with the next generation. And so if Paul George broke his leg, he would reach out and offer him a helping hand. Isaiah Thomas, after his sister passed, he reached out to him without knowing him and decided that the best way to help him through that pain was to just go over film with him.

"And those type of connections made Kobe a much more relatable figure than, say, a Michael Jordan, who always seemed to be above it all, who always seemed to be the guy that you wanted to be like, but you actually couldn't be. Kobe was a guy that you could be like, but he'd be willing to put his arm around you and offer support.

"And that's why players around the league seemed to take his death so hard. He was their hero, but he also was a big brother-type mentor."

Lindsay Gibbs On Kobe's Rape Case:

"Kobe really didn't reckon with [the 2003 rape case] publicly. He was still enforcing the nondisclosure agreement that they had reached, at least up until a couple of years ago. And he also would not get into details when asked about it in the media.

"And so I wrote about this in 2016, when he retired, and because of that my email inbox and my direct messages have just been flooded with survivors reaching out to me, pretty much asking how they should feel right now. 'You know, well, he was also a big advocate of women's basketball. So which one wins out?' I wish it were simple, but the answer is: they both exist.

"And it's been so hard because there's been a lot of backlash to anybody in the media or online who has brought up the rape case. People saying, 'Now is not the time.' You know, 'He's not the worst moment of his life.' And what I've tried to hold and remind people is that survivors are listening, too. Survivors are a part of this conversation, too."

From The Only A Game Archives: 

This segment aired on February 1, 2020.

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