Back in 1996, I was a kid watching on TV another kid named Kobe Bryant who just entered the NBA playing his very first games. A skinny but brave kid, brave enough that he challenged the great Michael Jordan 1 on 1 and was taken back to school. Like many others, I saw him as just another victim against the Greatest of All Time and didn’t realize he was about to be a legend. And certainly no one knew he would become unstoppable.
Nothing could stop Kobe. Torn Achilles, torn right wrist ligament, twisted pinky, broken ankle, two consecutive air balls vs Jazz in the playoffs, schooling by MJ, etc. He never had self doubts and always stepped up to challenges. He’s tough, so tough that few people could match. Mamba mentality always fights and allows no mercy. He’s the few only players whom you think you play good defense on him, and he still drops 50 on you. Proving doubters wrong and silencing criticisms by actions. Waking up at 4am everyday to work while knowing that he is already the best of the best. Drilling down to every single detail to win championships. Fearless, driven and excellent, that’s Kobe.
People love and hate Kobe for many different reasons. But all people respect Kobe for what he did on the basketball court. Kobe gave everything to basketball and is the definition of love for basketball.
5 times NBA champions, dropping 81 in a single game, pouring in 60 in his final game at the age of 37, winning an Oscar recently. Doubters have disappeared and we all started to realize the fact that there is nothing Kobe cannot do. But today, we woke up learning that there’s finally one thing Kobe could not do. He could not escape from death, a premature death arising from God’s jealousy.
Thank you for showing us what competitiveness, pursuit of excellence and determination really mean. We will pass on the torch and may you rest in peace. Fans gonna love, haters may gonna hate, but surely we all gonna miss you.
“Heroes come and go. But legends are forever.” — Kobe Bryant