RIP KOBE...... A Legend Lost.
Kobe Bean Bryant passed away Sunday, January 26 , 2020, in a helicopter crash along with his daughter
Gianna, John, Keri and Alyssa Altobelli, Christina Mauser, Ara Zobayan, and Sarah and Payton Chester. It’s one of the most tragic moments in sports history as we lose a global icon, a legendary basketball player, and most importantly a great father. My prayers are with Vanessa, the three daughters, and the rest of the families victims through this immensely difficult time.
As a 21 year old, I haven’t had a celebrity death hit me on a personal level in my young life till now. I remember as an eight year old who didn’t have much knowledge or intuition of the game of basketball, watching the 2008 finals between the Celtics and Lakers. I became a Hometown Hawks fan that year and saw the Hawks take the Celtics to a game seven before getting blown out. I rooted against the Celtics the rest of the series. So when they made the finals against the Lakers, I was rooting for Kobe to get it done. I heard about Kobe before that series thanks to both my friends shooting paper balls into trash cans yelling “KOBE” as well as playing NBA street vol.2 (great game) but never saw how he played in real life.
When I watched those games, I was so enamored with the tenacity of Kobe and his skills. His jab move and first step was lethal, and his classic baseline fade-away was impossible to guard. The Lakers lost that series, but I was a huge Kobe fan after that. I saw the discipline and drive in him that made me want to be like him before I could even really understand what that meant. Him working hard in the offseason then winning back-to back Championships and finals MVP’s the following two seasons, cemented my belief in him. Kobe was that first big Superstar that was like watching a real-life superhero play. He showed that the mamba mentality wins out in everything that you do. When your back is against the wall like his was in 2004, you can either walk away and accept the role society wants to put you in, or you can fight back and come back twice as strong. Kobe came back 10x as strong and became one of the greatest sports figures of all time.
He was my generations Michael Jordan in terms of how he never settled on just being a good player, he always improved year in and year out so that he would stay at the top of the food chain. His final game was as perfect a send-off as anyone could’ve asked for outside of winning the Finals. And his post basketball career was off to a great start with him winning an Oscar, coaching Gianna and her basketball team, facilitating women’s AAU basketball teams, etc. He had so much in front of him and it hurts all of us to see it cut short. The loss of his daughter Gianna, who we saw learning from her father and taking in that advice, while helping change the perception of Women’s basketball, really hurts. Gianna had so much to add to this world as a 13 year old girl with strong ambitions like her father.
It really shows that life is precious. Someone of Kobe Bryant’s personality and energy doesn’t die young. Then it happens, and it reminds us how important it is to give our loved ones the flowers when they can still smell them because life is the most unpredictable element that exists.
To Kobe and Gianna Bryant, John, Keri and Alyssa Altobelli, Christina Mauser, Ara Zobayan, and Sarah and Payton Chester, may you all Rest in Paradise.