My earliest memories of Kobe came when I would spend hours on the basketball court mirroring his every move. Growing up he was my Micheal Jordan and the best player that I have ever had the pleasure of watching. If you’ve followed my writing career I’ve written a few pieces on the Mamba, but this one will hit you different I promise.
We say goodbye to Kobe, but his legacy and mentality will live forever through the millions of lives he’s affected.
Identity was something I struggled to find, especially in the sport of basketball. I knew that I loved the game of basketball, but I had no sense of direction. Kobe changed the way I saw life and changed the way I approached the game.
The “mamba mentality” was instilled in me and the thought that someone out there is out working you didn’t settle right with me. To the nights that felt like they would never end to the days where I struggled to find my identity; I always looked to Kobe.
I can remember the first time I realized that Kobe was a big deal. Back when the city of Springfield Massachusetts has a D-League team called the Armour, I’d go to games religiously. I went so much that my whole basketball team got invited to go to practice. As I watched the Armor practice, James OnCurry had the basketball in post. I took a jab to the left and faded off one foot and yelled “Kobe”. From that moment on I kept hearing it more and more. The fact that people were screaming out his name while shooting the basketball should be a milestone in itself. You don’t see that with LeBron you didn’t see that with Jordan either.
Throughout high school, I always rooted against Kobe and would be on the phone with my best friend Hunter screaming when he hit some big shots against the Celtics. One thing that was always true was I respected him on and off the court.
I loved his post-work and his ability to slow the tempo of the game down where all eyes would be locked in on him. He wanted to be in that moment, he embraced it, and he oftentimes failed in the moment too. In the playoffs against the Utah Jazz, he air-balled a few shots down the stretch, but he showed no emotion. After that game and for the rest of his career I never saw a man pay that much attention to detail about every little aspect of the game.
When I played pick up with friends I would get into a rhythm offensively and start mimicking that famous Kobe facial expression. I knew every time I got that ball in the post it was a wrap. He made me fall in love with the post and more importantly made me fall in love with the game of basketball.
The worst part of this whole tragedy is that his daughter GiGi went with him. As a father and a son this hurts real real deep for me to get through. To know that other families were also affected too it just shows how much life doesn’t care. Hold your loved ones close!
Please cherish the time you have with people, the ones you love, and those who want to build a relationship with you. You never know when someone’s time will come to an end. Life is too short and if you want a drama free zone of all the external bull crap the internet has to offer visit NoLimitJumper.com where it’s bigger than the game of basketball. Rest easy Kobe Bryant , Gianna Bryant, John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Christina Mause, Sarah Chester, Payton Chester, and Ara Zobayan.