We always hear the phrase, “heroes come and go, but legends are forever”. Although the world is still deeply mourning the loss of Kobe ‘Bean’ Bryant, that quote holds true. Not a day will go by where a basketball fanatic doesn’t watch highlights of his final game where he scored 60 points against the Utah Jazz, or the game where he torched my Toronto Raptors for 81. That game winner he hit against the Phoenix Suns will remain a staple for us all.

Kobe was a devoted father, a loving husband, and a mentor to the next generation of basketball stars. No, he was not perfect, he was a flawed individual like we all are. The point is, every kid grew up trying to mimic one of his moves and work as hard as he worked. That goes to show how far his reach truly extended. This loss was felt globally.

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When I first saw his Oscar-winning short film, “Dear Basketball”, I smiled. As I rewatch it now, I cry. “You asked for my hustle, I gave you my heart”. Kobe Bryant was put on this earth to play the game of basketball. He gave his all to the sport, and as a result, us fans got treated to 20 years of greatness. The one regret I hold to this day, is the fact that basketball fans always had to compare. We should all take a moment and appreciate LeBron James, Michael Jordan, and the late Kobe Bryant as well as the other greats that have played this beautiful game.

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I’ve also read his book, “Mamba Mentality” several times. Kobe mentioned in the book, that he preferred practice over games; Bryant worked tirelessly. He learned how to speak Slovenian so he could heckle Luka Dončić from his courtside seats, he trash talked Tony Parker in French, and he also hung up his Olympic gold medal in the Laker locker room to motivate his then teammate Pau Gasol who he beat in the Olympic Finals. Kobe Bryant was the ultimate competitor and inspired people to be great in whatever they wanted to be great in. Thank you for everything! Mamba out, but never forgotten.

Feature Photo Credit: foxsports.com.au

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