As I begin to write this I preface I am not too familiar with NBA. Over the past few years I slowly lost a love for the sport for my own personal reasons. I do not write or cover a lot about it, however know that growing up I had several reasons why I loved the game. I used to love to play NBA video games. My friends and I would play pickup basketball almost every day for months at a time. Although I was not good, it used to be fun to imagine myself as some of the players I loved. Lastly I loved the game for several of the players that were incredible in my opinion. This is the story of those great players and the sadness I felt when I heard this world lost one of them.
There are three players that I have been obsessed with while growing up. The first is Dwayne Wade, whose play on the Miami Heat made me grow with the game. The second was Shaqille O’neil. Every time I saw Shaquille O’neil on the court or on a commercial, I would instantly yell “SHAQ!” Lastly there was Kobe Bryant. From a boy who looked up to his play to a man who loved his persona, I share my story looking up to Kobe Bryant. When news broke this past weekend about the terrible tragedy, I began to feel an immense sadness. Not only because I lost one of my idols growing up, but the world lost an idol.
Growing up a Kobe Bryant Fan
Only once in my life have I owned an NBA basketball jersey. That would be a yellow Kobe Bryant jersey with the number 8 on it. Growing up I wore it on occasions but would never truly understand the greatness until I hit a late age. This was more than just one of the best basketball players, this was one of the best athletes and human beings that would walk on this earth. As a child during this time I would also play basketball video games. In those games you would be able to create custom players. Several times I would make myself the point guard for the Lakers pairing myself with Kobe. It would make me so happy to play those games pretending to be on his team and winning championships with him. The impact Kobe had on me was to dream big.
That impact Kobe Bryant would have on me and others would grow over the years. During out times playing pickup games we would all want to be like Kobe. Every time we would shoot the ball we would yell “KOBE” in his honor. This was more than just a bunch of boys goofing around. It was the ideology that being able to shoot like Kobe Bryant and make a shot was the best thing in the world. This trend would continue through the years with throwing things into the garbage or people’s drinks. Although a humorous act, the recognition was that being like Kobe was more than enough to make us great.
The Family who Loved Kobe Byant
My family is one that loves sports. Every day you could catch us watching football, basketball, and college sports. On Christmas it was a tradition for my family to all sit down and be memorized by Kobe Bryant’s play. We would all root for him as my sister was his biggest fan. Throughout his career we would watch his playoff runs, his championship wins, and the biggest games he would put out there. Of course we also loved him off the court. Seeing him grow as a well-rounded individual was enough to put smiles on our faces when we heard of all his accomplishments off the court.
Overall the sadness that filled my heart with the news of Kobe Bryant’s has been a great deal. Growing up his greatness touched me and the people around me in so many ways. From a video game, to the television and throwing garbage away. Recognizing his greatness was almost an everyday thing. I would like to offer my condolences for all of those affected by this tragedy, and will never forget all of those who passed. The game of NBA and the great people Kobe Bryant touched will never be the same. And the greatness he bestowed upon us all will never be forgotten.