Remembering Kobe Bryant

450p124200126011 kobe bryant

Yesterday still feels like a bad dream. I heard the news of Kobe’s “passing” and brushed it off (I actually told my co-worker he was reading it wrong; he was probably talking about LeBron “passing” Kobe in points). As multiple news media outlets fumbled this whole situation, I sat on edge, wondering what was going on. Was this true? Was GiGi or Vanessa on board? Was Rick Fox on board? Was one of my childhood idols really gone?

Not only was the NBA heartbroken last night, but the whole world was mostly left speechless. We saw some very emotional and touching moments from our own Trae Young, Dwayne Wade, Doc Rivers, Tyson Chandler, Devin Booker, and even Neymar across the pond. Kobe had gotten so close to so many young stars in this game, as the guy they grew up watching went from an idol to a mentor, then turned from a mentor to a friend. I must give a tip of the cap to the players; it took a lot to go out and play yesterday. Kobe is a friend, a father, and a husband. I can’t even imagine what Vanessa, his daughters, and others close to him are feeling today. As great as his impact was on basketball, it’s so small compared to the impact he had on their lives. GiGi was supposed to carry on Kobe’s legacy, and her involvement makes this twice as gut-wrenching.

Speaking strictly on basketball, we will never see another player like Kobe Bryant. He was wired differently than any other player, scratch that – competitor – in the history of sports. His desire to win, constantly better himself and his ability to communicate that thought process to others is something that will never be emulated. I can’t even think of someone who comes close in today’s NBA, NFL, or MLB. Regardless if you loved him or hated him, he made people feel.

I’ll never forget his 81 points against Toronto. I’ll never forget him dropping 60 points in his last game. I’ll never forget the emotions he evoked out of me. Kobe, the athlete, was great; Kobe, the person, was even greater. It’s gotten to the point now where I think the “GOAT” arguments in the NBA will finally be put to rest. No more LeBron vs. Kobe. No more Kobe vs. MJ. No more LeBron vs. MJ. We need to appreciate all of our legends; they all bring something to the table that nobody else will ever be able to copy. Kobe was finally moving on from the NBA into the next chapter of his life, spending time with his family and being a true ambassador to the NBA. It’s evident by the amount of time he spent encouraging and talking with players and coaches around the league; past, present and future. It can’t be understated; this is the most tragic death in the history of sports. Kobe was supposed to be courtside at Staples for the next 40 years. GiGi was supposed to take the WNBA by storm. None of it seems fair. None of it is fair.

I did wanna talk about Trae Young really quick. He obviously had a very special connection with Kobe, and GiGi looked up to him as well. Young came out wearing #8 last night, and his performance would have made the Mamba proud. 45 points on 24 shots and an 81% FT seems almost unreal, something you couldn’t even write in a Hollywood story. The first double-double with 45 points on less than 25 shots since who? Kobe Bryant against those same Washington Wizards in 2006. I know this kid is heartbroken, but I think he’s the perfect player to carry on Kobe’s legacy. The whole league is hurting, and he’s the type of guy to make a statement and help lead other players out of this dark time.

We’ll all be shaken up for the next few days, but it’s nice to see everyone coming together to support the Bryants and the other families involved. Their lives are equally important, and we’re praying and thinking about them all as well.

RIP Bean. There will never be another.

Scroll to Top
%d bloggers like this: