During their appearance on NBC’s Today, former NBA players Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal, and Kenny Smith talked about the legacy of Kobe Bryant. Apart from all the accolades he achieved during his career, the sexual assault allegations in 2003 took a toll on him and his family.
They would later overcome all of that, but it was something Barkley tried to put in perspective when talking about the legacy Kobe left behind. Barkley believes people should celebrate everything Kobe Bryant did as a basketball player but not view him as a hero.
“Kobe Bryant is one of the greatest basketball players ever, and he had a flaw that we all know about. You have to tell the picture in totality. We’re not trying to make Kobe out to be no hero; we’re celebrating his basketball excellence. We understand what happened in Colorado, that’s fair. But two things can be true.”
Smith added that people are imperfect as human beings. He ended that thought, saying Kobe will forever be remembered as a great basketball player and the challenge he set for himself.
“Do I think it was appropriate or inappropriate? I think we all are imperfect. But I think what he has done and challenged the world to be, we all saw.”
The case against Bryant was dismissed back in 2003 but it left a tremendous impact on his career and family. Alongside his wife Vanessa they were able to overcome everything, and Kobe eventually transformed his image from an NBA player that the media disliked to one of the most glorified athletes in recent decades.