Good Morning. It’s a tough day to be a sports fan.
Kobe Bryant died yesterday. These words just don’t sound right. They won’t sound right for a long time. If someone has been publicly available in court for more than two decades, it is not only expected that they will disappear. And yet … it happened.
How do you understand anything so sudden, so final? One of the greatest athletes in the history of basketball, one of the few stars who, along with eight others, could have a name on a routine flight and suffer an accident? It doesn’t seem right or fair. How do you explain it?
You can concentrate on Kobe’s contribution to the basketball game: five championship rings, 18 all-star missions, countless off-road strokes and moments with great success. Double final MVP, an NBA MVP, two Olympic gold medals, a Wikipedia page that extends the length of a course.
<p class = "Screen Atom Screen Text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "You could choose individual games. There was a time he missed several shots against the Utah jazz In a crucial playoff game from 1997, only 18-year-old Bryant had the courage to do so. Or the time when he received 81 points against the Raptors in 2006, most of them from afar. Or on the last night of his career when he got up one last time on legs that were little more than Graham crackers and old chewing gum and scored an astonishing 60 points. “Data-reactid =” 27 “> You could choose There was a time when he missed several hits against Utah Jazz in a crucial playoff game in 1997, hits that only 18-year-old Bryant had to take, or that Time to Score 81 Points Against Utah Jazz Most Raptors came from afar in 2006, or on the last night of his career when he got up on legs that were little more than Graham Cracker and old chewing gum and one last time scored an amazing 60 points.
You can see how he inspired future generations – over 14,000 children have been referred to as Kobe in the past 20 years, and the first waves of these young Kobes are just starting to make their way to college.
You could focus on Bryant’s 2003 sexual assault and infidelity charge in Colorado, as many memories will. It’s not just about deep personal failures, it’s also about how money and celebrity can wash away sins. That is also part of Bryant’s story.
You can think about the size Kobe will never get another chance at. He had already won an Oscar for the best animated short film and was about to rise in arenas far beyond the basketball court. The father of four daughters was a strong supporter of women’s basketball, and his presence alone would have taken the sport’s reputation to another level.
Or you could feel the loss in simple human terms – the fact that this tragic accident devastated families, left daughters without a father and millions of heartbroken fans; the fact that 41 is just too young to leave this earth.
You will hear a lot about Kobe in the next few days. TV and websites will repeat its greatest moments. Experts will alleviate their own pain by discussing Kobe’s place in basketball Olympus, as if a ranking between Magic and MJ would make everything easier. Journalists will share their memories of the coverage of him, and Sports Talk Radio will blatantly include this tragedy among other sudden, unexplained sports losses. Some commentators will focus on his mistakes and failures, others will ignore them, others will try to assess the complexity of a man who always seemed a lot more than just a basketball player.
<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "For me, what defined Kobe was its width, Indomitable Will No player in basketball history – not Jordan, not Bird, nobody – had a stronger will than Kobe. Remember, the guy was the biggest high school player in the country, and he worked like crazy every day Better, he got up at 4:30 a.m., exercised six hours a day, six days a week, and fired jump shots until he'd done them – not hit, & nbsp;made– a thousand. “Data-reactid =” 33 “> What Kobe defined for me was his tremendous, indomitable will. No player in basketball history – not Jordan, not Bird, nobody – had a stronger will than Kobe The guy was the greatest high school player of the country, and he worked like a madman every day to improve. He got up at half past four in the morning and trained six hours a day and six days a week, he would shoot jumps until he had done – not taken, made – a thousand.
Jordan wanted to hit everyone he met. Bryant wanted to be the best version of himself and knew that nobody could touch him at his best.
Kobe was hell for teammates, from a beginner who hung around like Shaquille O’Neal in training to the Hall of Famers. Phil Jackson once famously called him “uncoordinable”. These are facts. It is also a fact that Kobe was an alpha dog that was very tough for everyone – but it was always the toughest for himself. The disappointment with his own failing body was evident in his retirement message “Dear Basketball,” published in The Players’ Tribune in 2015:
“My heart can bear the pounding. My mind can handle the grinding. But my body knows it’s time to say goodbye.”
Man, it’s hard to say goodbye to Kobe. It will take a long time.
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