The sports world mourns Kobe Bryant
Alex Myers discusses how the tragic death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant is being felt all over the globe.
Released on 1/27/2020
So we're gonna do something a little bit different
this week following the tragic death
of Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and seven others.
First of all, our thoughts and prayers
are with the families of these nine people.
Nothing I can say will help anyone involved.
This is a much more serious topic than we ever address.
But it's too big of an event to ignore.
Anyway, I've wasted an absurd amount of time
debating Bryant's place in history through the years.
Specifically, how he compares to LeBron James
and Kobe's former teammate, Shaq.
But none of that matters today.
In fact, it's hard to image any of that mattering again.
Kobe was one of the all time
great basketball players, period.
And clearly one of the most transcendent athletes
and biggest stars this planet has ever seen.
NBA players including LeBron James were brought to tears.
NFL players coordinated a celebration in his honor
at the Pro Bowl.
In soccer, Neymar saluted him during a game.
In tennis, Nick Kyrgios wore a Kobe Bryant jersey
for his Australian Open warm up.
Even the freaking Grammy Awards opened up
with the likes of Alicia Keys, Boys 2 Men, and Lizzo
paying tribute to Kobe.
News of Kobe's death hit the world of golf hard, too.
Tiger Woods, whose career as a teen phenom to a legend
has overlapped with Kobe,
was visibly shocked when told what happened.
In several post-round interviews,
he did his best to put this tragedy into words.
So did others on social media.
From Rory McIlroy, to Brooks Koepka, to Justin Thomas.
In fact, as Golf Channel's Rex Hoggard pointed out,
13 PGA Tour pros list Kobe as their favorite athlete.
He doesn't play golf.
He doesn't even play basketball anymore.
But it didn't matter.
He was idolized across the globe.
Kobe was arguably my favorite athlete as well
before LeBron came along
and before I got swept into the world of advanced metrics.
In fact, I wrote my first ever column
in our college paper, comparing him to Michael Jordan.
I know, I know, how original.
And I'll never forget when he scored 81 points.
Not the game itself so much
but the feeling I had that next day
when I woke up and still couldn't believe it.
How could that happen?
Sadly, I felt the same way waking up today.
How could this happen?
The timing was crazy as well
with LeBron passing Kobe for third
on the NBA all-time scoring list just the night before.
And waxing poetic about how much Bryant meant to him.
Then there was the clip that went viral
of Kobe giving his daughter a basketball lesson
during a recent NBA game.
With no more games of his own,
Kobe had focused on Gigi's career.
And as a father myself,
the photos of them are heartbreaking.
Of course, despite all the NBA titles and accolades,
Kobe's career wasn't perfect.
Most notably there was a sexual assault charge
during the prime of his career.
But in the court of public opinion
he clearly died as a hero.
And again, as as loving father.
Kobe's not the first start athlete
to die unexpectedly.
But while others like Dale Earnhardt,
Payne Stewart and Roy Halladay have stunned the world,
none have quite had this impact.
Kobe was bigger than an athlete,
bigger than a brand.
His Mamba Mentality is a movement
and one that isn't going away anytime soon.
So let's keep Kobe in your head
for his relentless drive.
And let's keep Kobe, Gigi and the seven other victims
of this tragedy in your hearts
as a reminder of how precious our time on earth is.