A letter to the late Kobe Bryant
Dear Kobe Bryant
You weren’t my favorite player growing up. However, it was you who introduced me to basketball. I grew up a Michael Jordan fan, who you idolized, and mirrored. Dwayne Wade got me into the sport, who you mentored, and battled with. I remember watching those battles hating, yet revering you. You taught Kyrie Irving, who is my favorite player today, and like him, I held a deep respect for you and all you offered to the world.
Basketball is one of my many loves, and you contributed to that. It wasn’t because of the streaks of 40, or 50, or even 60 point games. It wasn’t the 81 points, or the unrelenting will to win. It wasn’t the Shaq beef, or the 5 championships, or the competitive fervor. No, it was the passion for the sport. The everyday grind. The want to be the best you possibly could be and when it was over…
You left it with a letter from the heart, and was satisfied that you gave it everything you had.
You didn’t chase a bag. You didn’t want the luxuries or the glory. No, those came with it. You just loved the game.
You loved the screeching of the sneakers, the sounds of players calling out plays. You loved the rubber ball hitting the hardwood floor, the clanging of metal. The banging of bodies, the tears, the sweat, the bloodshed. You gave it everything possible and left us with the results.
And much like your life, and career, results are non-negotiable.
You taught me so many things, and I gravitated to you. No, you weren’t my favorite, but your handprint was all over the game that I loved. You defined a generation of talents that to this day appreciate everything you offered. Even in death, the mamba mentality lives on. The muse I hear in my head is reminiscent of your drive when I write.
On top of that, you inspired me to write. I’ve read your books, the symphonies I create in my mind with the characters you created take me to masterful orchestras of dramatic climates and crescendos. I go blind with the possibilities of what I could find inside.
Your spirit captivated millions, and you were celebrated across the globe. You were a girl dad, how I aspire to love my children as powerful as you did someday ( when I have kids). My first connection with my father was through you.
No, you weren’t my favorite. However I owe a great deal to you.
And then when you gave up the game you picked up another passion without hesitation. And you wrote. You inspired me to write more. To follow my passion. Despite any adversity, despite what people say about you. Positive and negative, use it all as motivation. And grind. Put the work in and grind like your life depended on it. Until the point of exhaustion, with love, and the desire, to be the best at all times.
You taught me so much. And I never met you. An Icon, a father, a legend. A hero, a man. Dear Kobe Bryant. Thank you for everything.
Mamba 4 life.