Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | January 27, 2020

Kobe Bryant’s Death

The report of NBA Star Kobe Bryant’s death on Sunday sent shockwaves around the globe. As the news continued to unfold, we learned that Kobe’s 13 year-old daughter Gianna was among those killed when the helicopter they were in crashed en route to a sporting event. The report that there were no survivors just added grievous weight to the already surreal news.

Kobe Bryant’s accomplishments both on and off the court are off the charts. He was incredibly gifted. The 41 year-old sports mega-star had won the hearts of his teammates, the respect of his opponents, and the admiration of his fans. Even more important than all of this, he loved and was loved by his wife and daughters.

The response to the news of Kobe’s death was instantaneous. Social media was on fire with tweets and posts expressing shock and disbelief and “this can’t possibly be true” kind of reactions. And rightly so! The grief that has followed Kobe’s death is in direct proportion to how much he had endeared himself to others. You will find grief only where there was once love and admiration.

Kobe’s death has put the thought of death on a lot of people’s mental radars. We tend to not think much about death until death happens. And then, we are forced to deal with its reality, to contemplate again what our respective worldviews teach about what happens after death, and to consider our own mortality.

One thing is certain, no one will be exempt from death or having to deal with its aftershock when it happens to someone we love, admire, or even hate. In thinking about Kobe’s death, I offer the following considerations.

First, Kobe was extremely talented but he was not perfect — no one is. He did however, try to live wisely. He loved his family and he cared about making a positive difference in the lives of others. Each of us have only one life in which to do the same.

Second, Kobe endeared himself to others. That’s why the outpouring of grief has been so great. In contrast to Kobe, the Bible records the story of King Jehoram of Judah (2 Kings 8). He was such a wicked ruler that when he finally died no one cried at his funeral. In fact, the writer of Chronicles records, “he departed with no one’s regret” (2 Chronicles 21:20). How sad! At the very least we should live in such a way that someone will grieve our loss.

Third, we do not know the hour or the day of our death — but that hour and that day will come. Most of us are guilty of making two mathematical mistakes: failing to understand the brevity of life and the length of eternity. We must be prepared to meet God today, for we may meet God today.

My heart is sad for Kobe, his beloved daughter Gianna, and the others who perished in the helicopter crash. May Kobe’s life inspire us to invest in those who will cry at our funeral and may his death remind us of our own mortality and the need to be prepared to meet God.


  1. Thank you.

    • You’re welcome, Gil. Thanks for reading,

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