Kobe Bryant was a force of nature who transcended his sport

Sport

Kobe Bryant was a force of nature who transcended his sport

Basketball has lost a player who redefined the game as only an icon could, but whose life was not without controversy

Oliver Brown

Of all sport’s icons, it is a vanishing few who ever grasp the distinction of being known by their first name alone. Kobe Bryant was one of them.

From the shopping malls of China to the mansions of the Hollywood hills, and from his ardent fans to his most savage detractors, Bryant, one of the brightest and longest-lasting stars in the history of basketball, was identified simply as Kobe.

On Sunday night, with shocking suddenness and cruelty, that star went out, the news breaking that he had been killed in a helicopter crash in foggy conditions west of Los Angeles. He was 41 years old...

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