I still cannot believe this. I received a call at four in the morning from my friend, telling me that Kobe Bryant had just passed. I asked him if he was pulling a prank, but something in my mind told me that he was not.
Kobe “Jellybean” Bryant, is the greatest basketball player I have ever seen play the sport – mind you that I was born in the late 90s. He was someone that was not especially gifted athletically, but one with spirit so tenacious he would crush his opponents: the mamba mentality. He was the Michael Jordan of our time. And the greatest Laker to ever don the jersey.
The work he put on himself can be heard from the countless stories of people who knew him. I am sure most of you have heard stories about how he would always be the first one in the gym and the last one out. Telling other people that no matter how hard they worked, he was willing to work harder. His drive and love for the game separated himself from the rest.
Not only was he an exceptional, once-in-a-lifetime player. But he was an incredible human being, loved by both Lakers fans and non-Lakers fans alike. He was not just a genius on the court, but also carried himself with this determination he could excel in anything he put his mind into.
He was also a great family man. His love for his wife and daughters, supporting their interests like volleyball and basketball; learning to play instruments for them; becoming his daughter’s dance partner to her prom, and supporting women’s basketball. He was an amazing father. He had this endless curiosity to learn and push himself and the people around him further.
What hurts the most is that Kobe was only 41. He still had half of his life left to live after three years of retirement. His legacy can be felt all over the world, in all sports and the millions of kids and adult alike yelling: “Kobe!” when they shoot something into the trash can.
Kobe was an incredible human being, making people feel strong emotions when he was still alive and now when he is gone from the world. The only thing we can do now is to honour his legacy by remembering him and inheriting his “mamba mentality”, to kill everything and truly push ourselves beyond our limits to be the best we can be. World, Kobe Bryant has signed off for the last time: “Mamba out.”