I’ve known you forever, yet we never met.
We’ve breathed the same air, shared so many games, amazing victories, and crushing defeats.
And, oh, those stunning last second daggers, with all of us screaming “Kobe” the moment it rolled off your fingers in slow-mo time. I found such joy watching you demonstrate your Mamba mentality.
You were a flawed hero, too, maybe making your ultimate journey even more remarkable now.
I watched you grow from that young imperfect phenom to a champion, wise role model, mentor, academy award-winner, and most recently laughing out loud in courtside seats.
I watched you scream with joy and play through pain.
I listened closely to you plead with us to work, to practice, to laugh, and to fulfill our own special dreams.
You were so much larger than life. It is impossible to even fathom that in an instant, you are just gone, leaving us for far greater heights with a treasure trove of memories.
Our collective hearts are broken. Tears are streaming. Grieving is so damn HARD. It’s like part of us is gone, too.
Yet there’s just enough light to know that part of you stays with us.
As that mic drops with such a dull thud and the deafening silence whispers…