I’m sure your timeline is packed and your friends have talked about it but…Kobe’s death was different. In an age where critics want ball players to “shut up and dribble”, where your job defines you and listing off your qualification is the main metric of success, Kobe Bean Bryant was more than that. He was more than an athlete, he was bigger than basketball and he was bigger than sports. At 41 years old to die in such a tragic crash, it makes you think “what if?”
What if the 5 time champion, Oscar Award Winning, WNBA advocate, father, husband, ultimate competitor was alive today? He wasn’t perfect. He wasn’t my favourite player, but I’d be lying If I said he wasn’t the most fun player to watch. I’d be lying if I said I never screamed “KOOOBEE” when I chuck a piece of paper in the garbage. I’d be lying if I said this wasn’t a big loss for the black community. And that’s why it hurts, we lost a great black man. This reminds me of Nipsey in early March 2019 when he passed, a man of the people that wasn’t perfect but was heading to greatness. Kobe was already great but he was going to be greater.
As a father he was there for his daughters not only physically but emotionally as well, this is a blessing that a lot of black children don’t receive. Especially for his daughters, Gigi Bryant in particular who died on that helicopter. A 13 year old angel with so much talent and potential to tragically pass away in her fathers arms, its heartbreaking to even write it. Kobe was passing the torch to the scrappy teenager who had that same fire her father possessed. Publications like TMZ or other stupid tabloids are quick to show the worst in black people but rarely shine light on the good men/women of our community. I loved Kobe he defied the conventional, he wasn’t a regular hooper! Yes he copied Jordan but isn’t that what you’re supposed to do? Didn’t we all want to be “Like Mike”? Guess what? Kobe surpassed Mike, as a man, as a father, as an ambassador of the game and as a human.
When it comes to Black Mamba, I will always respect his focus. The man wanted it more than anyone on the court and he was willing to put up the shots to prove it. No matter how many times he missed, he still shot it up. That’s what I’ll remember Kobe for, a man that kept pushing forward no matter what! A man that exceeded expectations and started out a prospect to one of the greatest players in NBA history. A man who did it his own way…the Kobe way. Mama there goes that man…
RIP 8/24, Gigi Bryant and all the people lost in that crash ❤