PJAS 15 Spring-10

Tomasz Jacheć
Death of a Celebrity: Kobe Bryant and Post-Millennial Sensitivities
Polish Journal for American Studies, vol. 15 (Spring 2021), pp. 143-160

Abstract: On Sunday, January 26, 2020, Kobe Bryant – a retired star of the Los Angeles Lakers basketball franchise – died suddenly and tragically in a helicopter crash. Following his death, Bryant was instantaneously mourned and celebrated as a basketball legend, an inspiration, a role model, a family man, and a Renaissance man; he was secularly and medially canonized. This study analyzes the secular canonization process and aims at extrapolating the post-Millennial element of the narratives of the tributes to Bryant. The article looks into how the reaction to the death of Bryant, who, although a Millennial himself, seemed to embody the post-Millennial image of post-Millennials (Generation Z) i.e., competitive, spontaneous, adventuresome, and curious, reflects the self-image of post-Millennials i.e., loyal, compassionate, thoughtful, open-minded, responsible, and determined.

Keywords: Kobe Bryant, media, post-Millennial, secular canonization, celebrityhood

DOI: 10.7311/PJAS.15/1/2021.10

Full Article