The first article from our good friend The Nerdy Pothead.

To the world, you were more than a basketball player.  What Kobe did on the court was amazing. 

We are all going to talk about where we were when we heard the news. I was working and checked my phone. And just like many of you, I thought it was some fake news like, “Kobe is not gone,” so I paid no attention and went about my day.  An hour later, it was everywhere and I could not think straight. As a true Laker fan, I thought that he would live forever. I wanted to escape it ’cause I knew seeing it over and over would make it harder, and the internet has a way of making you see things over and over. 

By the time I got home, they let us know that his daughter was on the plane as well. That’s when my heart broke. As a father, we work hard to make sure we can provide for our kids, and having 2 daughters, I do everything for them. It hurt. He was providing for her; saving time by flying to her practice.  

What made Kobe bigger to me than Micheal Jordan was a generational thing. We are 3 years apart in age. He came into the NBA out of high school and was just a beast.  You would watch his games. See him in the fourth quarter. The Lakers down 7 and he would take over offensively and defensively.

At basketball practice, everyone was trying to copy his footwork.  Every jump shot you would YELL “Kobe” make or miss. My high school team was sponsored by Adidas, and we were given Kobe shoes. They were ugly, felt horrible and looked extra big. None of us wanted to play in them. But when we hit the court, we felt like we were him. There was something about the way he played that made you feel like you could do that too.  

Its a different feeling watching basketball now. You can see Kobe’s game in so many players.  To all the families that lost someone on the helicopter, we all feel some sort of pain with you, but its not the same ’cause you knew them deeper.  To all the Kobe fans, keep shooting and calling his name. Life is very fragile and any moment can be our last, so take no days off and continue to push for something better. Work hard at what you love. Obsess over it. “THAT’S THE MAMBA WAY.”