Dear Kobe, thank you. Thank you for every basketball memory I have accumulated in my life time. Thank you for showing me and millions of others what it truly takes to be successful. Thank you for sharing your will and determination with the world. To you, “Mamba Mentality” wasn’t anything special, it was the norm; but for a whole generation, “Mamba Mentality” became a life style.
Words can’t begin to describe the ways you have impacted me, not just the basketball world. My earliest basketball memory comes from me and my dad screaming at the TV to stop Kobe Bean Bryant, it was the 2010 NBA finals, game 7. We all know how that ended. Despite my dad being a Celtics fan, and me eventually growing into one, I fell in love with you because of that game. The emotions you emitted after winning that championship made me want to experience it. The next day was the first time I touched a basketball. If it wasn’t for my 7 year old self wandering to the couch past my bed time, I may have never touched a basketball.
You showed me how to truly love the game. I spent everyday cherishing every moment with my ball. Whether I was working on my handles, trying to hit that momentous fade away, or just walking around, I had my ball. You showed me to never take the game for granted.
Unfortunately for me, I did not become a player like you Kobe. Instead, I spent most of my high-school basketball career injured. But, seeing your relentless dedication to success helped me through my rehab. I had to work through my pain to come back better than ever, I had to embody that true “Mamba Mentality”. I made it through the rehab and physical therapy, every last painful second. I couldn’t have done it if it wasn’t for you Kobe. Every dip and leg press, I worked through it because I knew that we set our own limits. You taught me that. Through all the pain and suffering, you always kept reminding me how to love the game, whether it was on or off the court.
You showed me basketball was more than just a game. You showed me how I can impact the lives of other through more than just a sport. You’re the reason I am a writer. Even though I am able to put words down on word press, I still can’t describe how I feel.
We lost a legend of the game, but more importantly we lost a legend of our world. For those reading this, I hope you truly understand the type of human being Kobe was. He single handily changed my life without even knowing it. He changed the lives of millions. Kobe’s legacy is more than just his 5 championships, or his 81 point game, its his dedication to always be better and to improve. In just 4 years of being retired Bryant wrote 3 books and won an Academy award. He was just getting started.
So, thank you Kobe. Thank you for the impact you have made on millions, including myself. Though your death was untimely, yours and Gianna’s legacy will forever live on. I love you Kobe Bean. We all do. Rest easy Mamba.
Kobe Bean Bryant 1978-2020