If you know something about basketball then you know what happened a few days ago. Sadly we lost Kobe Bryant, his daughter and 7 other people in a tragic helicopter accident.
I remember back in the beginning of summer 2001 when I was kid I was staying at my grandparents countryside place. My grandfather is a really early riser meaning he would wake up around 5 AM.. the same time I was going to sleep after watching yet another thriller between Lakers and 76ers. Due to the time difference between Estonia and US all the games took place in the middle of the night. But I wasn’t disturbed by that. I just wanted to see the next game! So I said good night to my grandfather, he responded with good morning and then I went to bed dreaming about taking the last second shots.. just as Kobe did.
I admired Kobe and Shaq! And the whole Lakers team! For me back then they were the greatest of them all!
But especially Kobe.. I admit, that his playing style was quite often not the most team friendly and he definitely had his flaws but none of us is perfect and the pure raw passion that he played basketball with is difficult to match. You could see it from his eyes. Every minute, every second he was on the court.
Kobe had a huge influence in my love for basketball as he did for millions of other people. He will be greatly missed, it’s not fair to leave when you’re only 41 years of age and you should have at least half of your life ahead of you.
Here’s a poem by Bryant what in my opinion really sums up who he really was and how much passion he had for basketball…
From the moment
I started rolling my dad’s tube socks
And shooting imaginary
In the Great Western Forum
I knew one thing was real:
I fell in love with you.
A love so deep I gave you my all —
From my mind & body
To my spirit & soul.
As a six-year-old boy
Deeply in love with you
I never saw the end of the tunnel.
I only saw myself
Running out of one.
And so I ran.
I ran up and down every court
After every loose ball for you.
You asked for my hustle
I gave you my heart
Because it came with so much more.
I played through the sweat and hurt
Not because challenge called me
But because YOU called me.
I did everything for YOU
Because that’s what you do
When someone makes you feel as
Alive as you’ve made me feel.
You gave a six-year-old boy his Laker dream
And I’ll always love you for it.
But I can’t love you obsessively for much longer.
This season is all I have left to give.
My heart can take the pounding
My mind can handle the grind
But my body knows it’s time to say goodbye.
And that’s OK.
I’m ready to let you go.
I want you to know now
So we both can savor every moment we have left together.
The good and the bad.
We have given each other
All that we have.
And we both know, no matter what I do next
I’ll always be that kid
With the rolled up socks
Garbage can in the corner
:05 seconds on the clock
Ball in my hands.
5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1
“Love you always,
This tragedy is a reminder that nothing is for granted. You never know what tomorrow brings or if tomorrow even comes at all. Enjoy every moment, share your love and be thankful for what you’ve got…