Kobe Bryant is the name. Growing up, I was so afraid to fail and I believe that probably held me back a bit then I came across one of your quotable quotes, it read “If you’re re afraid to fail, then you’re probably going to fail” and from then on I never feared failure again, I looked at life differently, I started following your career, I fell in love with basketball, that is watching it closely.
I was never the most talented kid but through your quotes I found myself running around the basketball court giving it my all for I knew with effort nothing is impossible. I wasn’t born a basketball fanatic but through watching you, I became an avid fan. I started following the game closely, not only that but I grew to love the Lakers too, that by the way was around the time LeBron James and the Miami Heat were dominating and sweeping all before them but there I was screaming for the team from Los Angeles.
I still remember the minutes and hours spent at the library with my mates at university, no we weren’t studying for an assessment but rather watching a compilation of basketball videos from games past. My good friend Msengwa would tell you, the Lakers were not the same team anymore but Kobe Bryant was still there and for me that was enough.
I was not as privileged growing up thus I cannot sit here and write that I watched you at your prime. It is unfortunate that I only managed to watch you closely when the Mamba powers were on the wane and injuries were taking their toll but still in my eyes you were the greatest. Everyone speaks about the greats, Magic Johnson, Shaq O’Neil, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Michael Jordan to mention but a few but none of them left more of an impact in my life than you did.
No disrespect to all the legends mentioned above but you Mamba somehow stole my heart. I never knew you personally but this one cut deep. That Gianna was there too does not make things much easier for your wife Vanessa.
What hurts the most is the fact that during Kobe’s last moments on earth, he knew the life of his beautiful daughter Gianna was in danger but couldn’t protect her; I can imagine his pain in those last moments. Mamba would have perhaps gone in peace was it not for his daughter.
You just had to watch the scenes outside Staples Center the morning after just to see what Kobe Bryant meant to Los Angeles Lakers and basketball world as a whole.
In his own words, “Heroes come and go but Legends are forever”
Go well Kobe…
Rest easy Mamba…
Kobe Bryant you are Forever.