With the emotional memory of Kobe Bryant the Lakers played at home against the San Antonio Spurs. A very emotional day, because his death still on everyone’s minds. Over a week has passed and everyone all over the world remains in shock.
A life is made up of many moments. There are moments that just come and go. There are moments you cherish. There are moments that scar you in some way or another.
It was a normal Sunday evening. I had enjoyed the morning out and about. The day had turned cloudy so I decided to spend the evening at home. I was resting in my room. There was music on in the background. I had a nice cup of coffee on the table and whilst enjoying my coffee I was scrolling down my Facebook page. That’s when my normal Sunday evening unexpectedly turned into one of those moments that scar you.
My heart stopped as a spotted a news story. Kobe Bryant was one of nine victims in a helicopter crash. The former LA Laker and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, were among those who died. At first there was disbelief. It was fake news, and not very funny fake news at that. I started to search the words ‘Kobe Bryant’ and ‘helicopter crash’. I wish I hadn’t.
“Kobe Bryant is dead”. What followed was silence.
The silence was accompanied by pain. The pain is quick to strike and seems to take an eternity to go away.
It was only the the second time in my life that I cried for someone that I have never met or ever seen in person. I had spent so many years watching Kobe play that it I felt like I had lost a friend. That night in my room all you could hear was the sound of the keyboard as I tried to write down my feelings and thoughts… and tears, the tears I cried for Kobe Bryant.
Kobe, you were my inspiration for so many things. I started to follow basketball because of you. I’m a sports writer thanks to you. I watched you star for club and country. I tried to watch all your games. I didn’t miss one of the 81 points your scored against the Toronoto Raptors. I saw you win two gold medals at the Olympic Games. It was a sad day when I watched you score 60 points in your final game as a pro back on April 4th, 2016. I have never forgotten the date or the opponents. Your Lakers were playing against the Utah Jazz.
Kobe Bryant will be inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame as part of its 2020 class but his legacy is much more than that. Kobe Bryant was a legend, an icon and a role model for basketball lovers, fellow athletes and sport fans in all four corners. He touched so many people from so many walks of life, me included.
Thanks for the memories, you will never be forgotten nor will that “Mamba Mentality”. A mentality and a way of living that has inspired people worldwide and that will continue to inspire many generations to come.
Francesco Vassura (@vassu29)