A show of respect for the late, great, Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant is gone. These are words that surprised me more than “Michael Jackson is dead”, or even “Prince is Dead.” Kobe was a part of every kid who grew up loving sports in the same years that he shined. He was the ultimate competitor, and the Jordan comparison is not the only way you should look at how great a player was during his career. The pieces to players years in whatever sport he plays are broken into different parts both good, and bad. What we remember the most though is the effect they had on our lives growing up. How many times did you throw up a 3 from long range in a pick-up game and right afterward you screamed “Kobe!”. Whether or not the ball went in did not make a difference. You thought of Kobe when you would hoop, at least our life many of us did.
I have never really been a big fan of the Lakers. Truly I was always a Michael fan because my father would always sit me on the couch for the huge moments in sports history, even when I was 4 or 5. I remember Tiger winning the Masters for the first time, and all of Jordan’s Triumphs during the 3 peat after the year off playing baseball with the Barons. Kobe was something different though. He was the guy that was playing with Ludacris was rapping “roll out”. Those years of your life that you remember well and those were the years when Kobe was dominant.
When he had Shaq on his team the Louisiana Beast was a huge addition, but whatever Shaq may say, those were Kobe Bryant’s Lakers Teams. Kobe would blow our mind with his beautiful looking shot that he seemingly held longer, along with his sublime runs into the paint, always willing to take a foul, to give everything for the team, or a championship. If Kobe Bryant has done one thing it has been to win NBA Championships. He won enough for an entire hand to sport one. To lose such a sports icon so young is devastating and to lose others as well, including a daughter, just tears the heart apart. The worse dream we all could imagine come true, and we all knew about it minutes after it had occurred.
This is not what I will remember from Kobe Bryant. I will remember the greatness. The Championships. I will remember watching him throw up 81 points against the Raptors. Hitting threes from all angles, and then taking it to the hoop for and one’s. I will remember Kobe lifting the NBA Trophy 5 Times, with the Finals MVP twice. The man who never gave up the court, and shaped an entire generation of basketball icons, and icons yet to come. Rest in peace Kobe Bryant, you will be missed by a world that will never be the same without you.