Dear Kobe

In Memoriam: Kobe Bryant (1978–2020)

Photo by NBA.com

Dear Kobe,

Nowadays, I don’t practice much hero worship. My younger self might have found that hard to believe. From mimicking your fadeaways and recreating your buzzer-beaters on the hot concrete of residential driveways and schoolyard blacktops, to wearing ill-fitted jerseys embroidered with 8 and 24 (over and over and over), staying up too late to watch your many moments of athletic artistry, to even naming my childhood dog after you…there was no denying the effect you had on my formative years.

I never got the chance to meet you, although I inhabited the same physical space as you on a handful of occasions, marveling at your balletic brilliance from afar. We never spoke a word to each other, you didn’t even know I existed, but the impact you had on me growing up is difficult to truly quantify. The amount of time I spent watching you and idolizing you is immeasurable.

In many ways, hero worship can be problematic, toxic even. We elevate mere mortals as something greater, something higher, something other. Somehow, you always managed to elevate yourself even further. With the court your canvas, your singular craft of a pursuit of greatness knew no bounds, knew no limits. The worship was justified, the worship inspired me, the worship never let me down.

Now, you’re gone.

That the senseless tragedy took both you and your young daughter, Gianna, just 13 years into her own pursuit of making her father proud and blazing her own legacy, is a thought too difficult to bear.

None of it makes any sense.

You inspired millions of people throughout your career and were undoubtedly the favorite player of just as many fans, yet you always felt unique to MY experience. You were my favorite player, my reason for picking up a basketball, my inspiration to aspiring for something more.

Now, I feel the pain of those millions all within my unique experience. We all miss you.

As one.

Rest in purple, rest in gold, rest in peace, Kobe.

💜💔💛

Photo by CNN.com

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Asheville-based writer following the feel and chasing down wonder.

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Blake Matson Becker

Blake Matson Becker

Asheville-based writer following the feel and chasing down wonder.

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