Legends are Forever

There’s a point in basketball, when you score 60 points in your final game, and a generation witnesses a man’s destiny be fulfilled. The ball becomes a part of you, and all you have left feels like a distant memory, those who you inspire step forward and say; thank you.

When destiny calls, there are few who answer, even fewer who would know the sound of her voice. Kobe Bryant needed no such call or blessing to be who he wanted, to fight on and clear a path for those of us who were struggling behind.

We all have those who inspire us to give basketball a shot ourselves. Kobe gave my generation the belief that basketball was in the cards for us. This is why basketball is in our blood, Kobe set an example he wanted us to implement into whatever we chose for ourselves.

Kobe left us a mentality of sure fire will, something now more than ever I think our world needs. Everyone is vying for one spot, to be able to wake up every morning, look yourself in the mirror and know you left nothing unsaid.

Kobe is the man who showed me that fear isn’t an option– that if you could learn how to control your frame of mind, you could control who you wanted to be.

In an article for Newsweek, Kobe said, “The last time I was intimidated was when I was six years old in Karate class. I was an orange belt and the instructor ordered me to fight a black belt who was a couple of years older and a lot bigger. I was scared shitless. I mean, I was terrified and he kicked my ass.

But then I realized he didn’t kick my ass as bad as I thought he was going to and that there was nothing to really be afraid of. That was around the time I realized that intimidation didn’t really exist if you’re in the right frame of mind.”

Kobe gave his all for 20 seasons in the NBA, collecting one accolade after the other, never satisfied with what he accomplished today, rather what he would accomplish with more time.

His basketball life stands on its own, few talents could touch what he brought to the NBA. None could challenge the love for the game as The Black Mamba, an ambassador for a game with a ball and a hoop.

His greatness will never again be replicated; it could never be replicated. How could someone be one of greatest basketball players ever, yet surpass that as a better father and family man? This is the Kobe Bryant I want to be, the Kobe I will strive to be.

It is up to the next generation of NBA stars to carry on his legacy, to push forward Kobe’s message of belief in one’s self, and most of all the work we do in helping those who have called next. Kobe was honest and humble in passing on his knowledge and basketball insight to the next generation. May we look at his example and come together and do the same.

There’s a point in basketball, when all seems lost, when your burden seems too big to bear. You pick up a basketball and this time feels different; the ball becomes part of you. As you release it, you yell as loud as you can the name of the Black Mamba; Kobe. Its then you realize he was right– you can do anything.