7 years ago, I stayed up late to watch the Raptors vs Lakers game. I knew you were a beast but since I didn’t watch Lakers games, I never witnessed it myself. Then I watched this game, and you scored three ridiculous three-pointers in a row, the game went into overtime and you took over, winning it for the Lakers. I went to bed salty that night — I hated you for killing my team — but that’s when I understood how great you are.
From then on, I started to follow your career, though this was near the tail end of it. A month after that game, you tore your Achilles and your career would never be the same. Nonetheless, I still got to witness some of your great moments, like watching you drop 60 in your final NBA game.
You taught me to dream, work hard, and to never give up. When shit got tough, I would remind myself of the mamba mentality, to strive to be the best at what I’m doing, no matter what obstacles are in my way.
You taught me to be my best self, and how I can use my career to lift others up. Your life inspired me and so many of my friends growing up. Now, I want to do the same with mine.
Finding out today that you left us, was devastating for me. Why’d you have to leave us so soon? There was still work to be done. There was still so much you wanted to do. Your daughter, Gianna, had her whole life ahead of her.
But I remind myself, that that’s not the mamba mentality. Rather, I’m going to keep dreaming, working hard, and use my life as an example to inspire others.
Just like you did.
RIP Kobe, Gianna and the victims of the crash, I hope I’ll get to meet y’all in heaven someday.