It’s been a year since Kobe Bryant’s death. Despite the time that’s passed, the tragedy still feels like a nightmare more than a reality. As the anniversary dawned on the sneaker and basketball community at large, a plethora of tributes were made for the Black Mamba and his legacy.
Read what he had to say below, and take a look at the court itself and on Austin Mills’ Instagram.
There has never been anyone in my life that I’ve put on another level. Kobe was like a superhero to me. In my eyes he was untouchable.
When he died, I realized that it can happen to anyone at any time. The best thing you can do is leave a legacy.
My goal is to leave the greatest legacy I can.Austin Mills
Nice Kicks: What inspired this mural?
Austin Mills: Kobe was my hero. I grew up a huge fan. We had season tickets to Laker Games. The only basketball shoe I played in growing up were Kobes. His grind inspired me to always be better. Sharing those moments with my dad watching him are memories I will never forget. I couldn’t wait to get home and play video games with Kobe. I couldn’t wait to go to school at 6 am before school and put up shots like Kobe. He was my inspiration. Now I do the same for kids making videos to teach and inspire.
NK: What’s your favorite Kobe memory?
AM: I went to a Lakers game and Kobe gave me his sweatband after the game. I remember I didn’t care how sweaty it was I was so excited that he gave it to me. He then proceeded to shake my head and I remember I used to watch him do it to his teammates. It made me feel like I was on the court with him.