Everyone knows Kobe was a legendary basketballer but he was more than basketball. The reaction of the world to his death is proof. He’s been on every social media feed and many of those who even feel more pained by the news are no Basketball fans. My attention was drawn to the tragic news by a friend who started seeing his face ‘everywhere’ and asked: “Who’s this Kobe?”. I retorted, “you don’t know Kobe!” I checked on Twitter only to find out what had happened. It was really tragic.
It was in 2009 or so when I first heard of the name ‘Kobe Bryant’. That year was my first introduction to basketball. Kobe’s name was everywhere as the coach or other players were either wearing his Number-24 jersey or talking about the Los Angeles Lakers in some way. I no longer play Basketball but I knew Kobe, and that’s more than enough.
In the last few days, I have watched some very touching videos of interviews. A quick observation is his consistency of message to the younger generation: ‘put in the work; seize the moment; do what you’re passionate about’. Only two nights (while watching a Books Club programme on TV) ago did I learn that he had authored other books apart from his autobiography – “The Mamba Mentality: How I Play”. A good number of these books are children’s books. So many have also been written about him. That is truly legendary. There are no doubts that Kobe’s legacies will be known to many across the world.
At just 41, we can learn a lot from the work he put into his craft and the inspiration he’ll continue to be for generations to come, in sports and life. It again confirms that the years in life do not count as much as the life in the years. It is going to be very tough to live with the memory of the loss of an icon like Kobe. As exceptional as he was, he was human with the tendency to commit errors like every one of us. But he left a mark.
I’ll like to extend my deepest condolences to everyone who lost a family member in that crash. I pray they find the strength and light to go through these very dark times. And may those who’ve been so privileged to be around, find the strength to pursue their dreams.