5 Ways Kobe Bryant Inspired The Next Generation Of Athletes

“That’s the true mark of a legacy … how it affects the next generation.”

NBA legend Kobe Bryant saw not one but two of his Los Angeles Lakers’ jerseys rise to the rafters in Staples Center on Dec. 18 in a ceremony that had fans and the greater NBA family celebrating Bryant and his outstanding accomplishments.

While wearing Lakers jerseys No. 8 and No. 24, he won a total of five championships and outscored 80 Hall-of-Famers twice over during an unparalleled 20 years in the league.

“You gave a six-year-old boy his Laker dream,” Bryant wrote on Twitter upon seeing his jerseys immortalized alongside other Laker greats who once inspired him as a little boy playing basketball in Italy.

But like any great champion, he wants his career to mean more. In a pre-game press conference on Dec. 18, Bryant spoke about the meaning of jersey retirement for today’s young players: “That’s the true mark of a legacy … how it affects the next generation.”

Here are five ways Bryant’s already making an impact on the next generation of athletes’ pursuit of greatness.

1. He inspired James Harden, Steph Curry, and other NBA greats to play.

James Harden stated that he "used to rush home after school just to watch [Kobe] play."

2. He showed us that hard work is what makes champions.

“If you do the work, dreams come true,” Bryant said during his jersey retirement halftime speech. “But hopefully what you get from tonight is an understanding that those times when you get up early and you work hard, or you stay up late and you work hard … That is actually the dream. It’s the dream. It’s not the destination — it’s the journey.”

3. He believes in the value of family.

“It feels good as a father to have my family come in and share this evening with me,” Bryant said during Monday night’s press conference. “My biggest challenge of the evening is, ‘Will Bianca sit for the two-hour game?’”

4. He’s bringing sports to kids around the world.

The Kobe and Vanessa Bryant Foundation provides funding for youth basketball and soccer camps as well as programs to help fight youth homelessness and provide healthcare to vulnerable youth. Bryant has also joined forces with NBA China to set up the country’s first NBA Basketball School. The school, expected to be completed in 2019, will reportedly be open to players of all genders, from junior level to professionals.

5. He believes sport can be used to strengthen youth mentally and emotionally.

President Barack Obama holds a personalized team jersey presented to him by Los Angeles Lakers guards Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher during a ceremony honoring the 2009 NBA basketball champions, Jan. 25, 2010. Photo by Lawrence Jackson/White House/Wikipedia.

“A lot of [the game] is emotionally driven,” Bryant said during the Dec. 18 press conference. “How to deal with anxiety, how to deal with pressure, how to quiet the ego — all those little inner battles that take place … [T]o be able to teach those through sport, hopefully, we can have children grow up to be outstanding citizens.”

via Smithfly.com

"Seventy percent of the Earth is covered with water, now you camp on it!" proudly declares Smithfly on the website for its new camping boat — the Shoal Tent.

Why have we waited so long for camping equipment that actually lets us sleep on the water? Because it's an awful idea, that's why.

"The world is your waterbed," Smithfly says on its site. But the big difference is that no one has ever had to worry about falling asleep and then drowning on their waterbed.

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While it is possible that one could wade into the water, unzip the tent, have a pleasant slumber, and wake up in the morning feeling safe and refreshed, there are countless things that could go terribly wrong.

The tent could float down the river and you wake up in the middle of nowhere.

You could have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

This guy.

It could spring a leak and you could drown while wrapped up in eight feet of heavy nylon.

A strong current could tip the tent-boat over.

There isn't any way to steer the darn thing.

This guy.

Mashable shared a charming video of the tent on Twitter and it was greeted with a chorus of people sharing the many ways one could die while staying the night in the Shoal Tent.

Oh yeah, it's expensive, too.

Even though the general public seems to think the Shoal Tent is a terrible idea, according to the Smithfly's website, it's currently sold out due to "popular demand" and it will be "available in 6-8 weeks." Oh, and did we mention it costs $1,999?

via zoezimmm / Imgur

There are few more perniciously dangerous conspiracy theories being shared online than the idea that vaccines cause autism.

This has led to a decline in Americans vaccinating their children, resulting in a massive increase in measles. This year has already seen over 1,200 cases of measles, a disease that was eradicated in the U.S. nearly 20 years ago.

A 2015 Pew Research study found that 83% of Americans think the measles vaccine is safe, while 9% think it's not. Another 7% are not sure. But when you look at the polls that include parents of minors, the numbers get worse, 13% believe that the measles vaccine is unsafe.

There is zero truth to the idea that vaccines cause autism. In fact, a recent study of over 650,000 children found there was no link whatsoever.

RELATED: A new study of over 650,000 children finds — once again — that vaccines don't cause autism

A great example of the lack of critical thinking shown by anti-vaxxers was a recent exchange on Facebook shared to Imgur by zoezimmm.

A parent named Kenleigh at a school in New Mexico shared a photo of a sign at reads: "Children will not be enrolled unless an immunization record is presented and immunizations are up-to-date."

This angered a Facebook user who went on a senseless tirade against vaccinations.

"That's fine, I'll just homeschool my kids," she wrote. At least they won't have to worry about getting shot up in school or being bullied, or being beat up / raped by the teachers!"

To defend her anti-vaccination argument, she used a factually incorrect claim that Amish people don't vaccinate their children. She also incorrectly claimed that the MMR vaccine is ineffective and used anecdotal evidence from her and her father to claim that vaccinations are unnecessary.

She also argued that "every human in the world is entitled to their own opinion." Which is true, but doesn't mean that wildly incorrect assumptions about health should be tolerated.

She concluded her argument with a point that proves she doesn't care about facts: "It doesn't matter what you say is not going to change my mind."

RELATED: 12 medical professionals shared their most memorable anti-vaxxer stories and you won't stop face-palming

While the anti-vaxxer was incorrect in her points, it must also be pointed out that some of the people who argued with her on Facebook were rude. That should never be tolerated in this type of discourse, but unfortunately, that's the world of social media.

Here's the entire exchange:

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via zoezimmm / imgur

The post received a ton of responses on imgur. Here are just a few:

"'In my opinion...' 'I believe...' That's not how facts work."

"You're entitled to your opinion. And everyone else is entitled to call you a dumbass."

"'What I do with my children is no concern to you at all.' Most of the time, true. When your kid might give mine polio, not true."

"If my child can't bring peanut butter, your child shouldn't bring preventable diseases."

It's important to call out people who spread dangerous views, especially how they pertain to health, on social media. But people should do so with respect and civility.


He photographed Nazi atrocities and buried the negatives. The unearthed images are unforgettable.

He risked his life to leave a "historical record of our martyrdom."

via Yad Vashem and Archive of Modern Conflict, 2007

In September 1939, the Nazis invaded Poland. By April 1940, the gates closed on the Lodz Ghetto, the second largest in the country after Warsaw.

Throughout the war, over 210,000 people would be imprisoned in Lodz.

Among those held captive was Henryk Ross. He was a Jewish sports photographer before the Nazi invasion and worked for the the ghetto's Department of Statistics during the war. As part of his official job, he took identification photos of the prisoners and propaganda shots of Lodz' textile and leather factories.

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via Imgur

Every few years there's something that goes mega viral because people can't decide what it is.

There was the famous "is it blue and black, or white and gold" dress?

There was the audio recording that said either "yanny" or "Laurel."

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Rochester NY Airport Security passing insulting notes to travelers caught on tape www.youtube.com

Neil Strassner was just passing through airport security, something he does on a weekly basis as part of his job. That's when a contract airport security employee handed him a small piece of folded cardboard. Strassner, 40, took the paper and continued on his way. He only paused when he heard the security employee shouting back at him, "You going to open the note?"

When he unfolded the small piece of paper, Strassner was greeted with an unprompted insult. "You ugly!!!"

According to Strassner, and in newly released CCTV of the incident, the woman who handed him the note began laughing loudly.

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