Inspired by Kobe Bryant, Steph Curry Vows to Champion For Equality in Basketball

Published 01/26/2021, 2:30 PM EST
January 25, 2021; San Francisco, California, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) shoots the basketball against Minnesota Timberwolves forward Jaden McDaniels (3) during the first quarter at Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports


Kobe Bryant passed away on January 26, 2020. It feels unreal that Kobe is gone, let alone that a year has passed since his tragic passing. The helicopter crash that took his life also took the life of his daughter, Gianna Bryant. Gianna or Gigi was 14 and was expected to follow in her father’s footsteps to become a basketball player.

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Kobe had dedicated a lot of his post-retirement life to help promote women’s basketball, especially the WNBA. That cause is one of his most enduring, and one that others are picking up now. Steph Curry in particular took inspiration from Kobe and had this to say about equality in basketball.

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“The fact that you have a guy like Kob, that was lending his platform, his voice, resources, his time to champion the women’s game, that obviously is a huge encouragement to continue that mission. A lot of people really appreciate it more because of how Kobe celebrated and supported the game while he was here.

Curry added, “There’s a huge opportunity to raise awareness around the women’s game, and involvement in youth sports, that can make a difference in somebody’s life.”

Kobe Bryant and his impact on women’s basketball

While we have seen a lot of tokenistic efforts by many to further the cause of women’s basketball, Kobe Bryant believed in it. Not only was he encouraging his daughters to not fall to patriarchal beliefs about women in sports, he was actively trying to raise the profile of the WNBA.

IRVINE, CA – JULY 26: Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna Bryant watch during day 2 of the Phillips 66 National Swimming Championships at the Woollett Aquatics Center on July 26, 2018 in Irvine, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

In one of his final public appearances, Kobe was sporting an orange hoodie which has since then become iconic. That orange hoodie had the four letters WNBA scrawled over it, and Kobe was proud to be wearing that. He was championing the cause the best way he knew how.

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Kobe was a willing coach to female basketball players, be it at the amateur, collegiate, or professional level. He openly said that players from the WNBA could easily play in the NBA. If that wasn’t the case, he would definitely want everyone to have that equal opportunity to show it.

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Kobe can’t carry on this work, but Steph Curry can. Hopefully, he will be as dedicated as Kobe was.

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Ishaan Bhattacharya

1510 articles

Ishaan Bhattacharya is an NBA, NCAA Basketball, and Combat Sports writer at EssentiallySports. Currently, Ishaan is pursuing a Post Graduate Degree in Journalism from Xavier's Institute of Communication. Previously, Ishaan has written for The Indian Express, The Quint, Sportskeeda, and WrestleClub.

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