10. Kobe Bryant
So often, we drain the English language of its glowing adjectives and superlatives, and caustically anoint athletes as ‘legends’ or ‘icons.’
Kobe Bryant was both and yet, I’m unsure that those honorifics aptly encapsulate the breadth of his legacy. As a young and impressionable Celtics fan, I watched Kobe Bryant’s from afar in consternation.
The fear he instilled in my heart was palpable, as was his ferocity, and his relentless pursuit of supremacy was a testament to his sheer love and gratitude for the sport of basketball. In return, basketball has been defined by Kobe Bryant, and will forever benefit from his late-game heroics, persistence, competitive fervor, and Mamba Mentality™.