For Kobe

As I sit here writing this, I’m still struggling to find the right words to say about Kobe Bryant. For someone like me, who lives, breathes, and sometimes only cares about basketball, his death just doesn’t feel right. Not only did we lose a basketball legend, but many people lost a hero.

I grew up watching Bryant dominating the NBA. The dunks, the game-winners, the fist pumps after hitting a clutch shot, I remember all of it. Kobe was the man. I grew up watching Kobe Bryant lose in the Finals to the Celtics in 2008, and then come right back and win back-to-back titles, including beating the Celtics in 2010. I never liked the Lakers, but I always respected the hell out of Kobe. As much as I enjoyed watching him lose or hated watching him win, I knew what I was witnessing was greatness. Pure, pure greatness.

When I heard the news that Kobe passed, I genuinely did not know what to do or how to react. My body froze. My hands and feet went numb. I thought I was having a bad dream. I was just waiting for an update saying the reports were false and that Kobe, his daughter, and all the other passengers were alive and well.

This is one of those events that will change everything. It was like the world stopped completely. It’s one of those days where someone will ask, “where were you when this happened?” I’ll remember exactly where I was, what I was doing, and who I was with on January 26, 2020 when I found out Kobe Bryant passed away.

Most importantly, this event makes us stop to remember how precious this life is. I never met Kobe in my life, but his death affected me in ways I can’t explain. For someone to have an impact on people who he never encountered in his life shows how special he was.

This life is so precious, and it’s time we start to realize that. Not every day is guaranteed, and we just never know what can happen. The passing of Bryant serves as a wake-up call to everybody that nobody is invincible, and anything can happen to anybody, even our heroes. After recently finding out an old classmate of mine from high school passed away from a terrible accident in Florida, it made me think about life more. It put into perspective how important it is to enjoy each and every day. She was the nicest person you could ever meet and was an inspiration to so many, and that’s why it’s hard to understand why she was taken from the world at such a young age. It’s hard to imagine or think about death, especially at a young age, but it’s a part of life that we unfortunately have to deal with.

My heart hurt, and it still does. My heart aches for his family, for the families involved in the accident, and for all the people that have been affected by this tragedy. It’s been almost 24 hours and it’s still hard to put into words the impact of Kobe Bryant’s death on everybody’s lives and the world itself. Never in my life did I imagine a celebrity’s death would hit me this hard, but here we are.

The basketball world lost one of the greatest to ever step on the court and a future superstar in Gianna Bryant. The world lost nine human beings who shouldn’t have had to go out the way they did. Life never stops, but it’s important to stop where we are, take a deep breath, and be thankful that we’re still here. Be grateful for each and every day because we don’t know when our time will come.

Rest easy, Kobe Bean Bryant, and thank you for all the memories you gave me and all your fans throughout your lifetime. I pray the Bryant family and everybody involved find peace in time.


Photo: Harry How/Getty Images

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