The first thing that almost everyone mentions in recollecting on Kobe Bryant is his relentless, killer instinct. They call it the Mamba Mentality. Now, "killer instinct" might not often be used to describe educators, but the great ones are most definitely relentless in their pursuit of excellence. They do not quit and they do not accept failure from anyone; themselves, their students, or their peers. Kobe was like that. If there was ever a criticism about his game, it was that he didn't pass enough, but when things got tight at the end of games, he knew he was the best player on the court and he had the confidence to do what was necessary to help his team win. John Hattie and Peter DeWitt have made the terms "self-efficacy" and "collective efficacy" common terms among educational leaders with the idea that if we believe we can make a difference, then we often will. Kobe's confidence and "self-efficacy" also translated to leadership. That leadership gave his team the "collective efficacy" it needed to achieve greatness. They often won simply because they believed they would. Check out this link from the ESPYs!
Finally, I wanted to look up this word to make sure I have the definition right in my mind.
adjective- going beyond ordinary limits; surpassing; exceeding.
I think it helps answer my original question of why does a basketball player have such a profound impact on the world. It's not just his extraordinary basketball talents. It's any person that goes beyond what is expected and does things that seem impossible. All of us respond to greatness and most of us respect it, even if we are not fans. Kobe Bryant was transcendent. We will miss him. #RIPKobe