When we all found out that Kobe Bryant had passed, for kids my age in the late 90’s, for sports fans all over the world, and even for people who didn’t necessarily like Kobe, the news was extremely shocking and saddening. The man was young, but his daughter, who played the game eerily similar to her father, was only 13. There were other families and children who died in that crash as well.
But this was different. When most celebrity’s pass, not only is it (sounds numb to say) easier to accept due to old age or even a drug overdose, there’s time to mourn. Time seems to stop. This happened to the sporting world, as well: various tributes that day involving 24 second and 8-second half court violations as dedication to Bryant’s jersey numbers. However, the games STILL GO ON. Sure, they canceled the initial Clippers-Lakers game set just two nights after the news, but other than that, everyone had to keep playing.
The Super Bowl is Sunday. The Lakers finally played tonight, an emotional loss at home to Portland. I was watching the Aussie Open in the late hours of Friday night / Saturday morning, and seeing the competition made me so emotional. It’s very easy to hate on sports, and I get it. There’s an excess of money, too much showmanship, not enough humility or regard for safety. This moment, though, has shown how much more sports is than just a game.
It’s human beings. That’s it. At the end of the day, the reason (I think) everyone is so sad is because Kobe seemed almost immortal. All our heroes and stars seem this way, and even when they die in a justifiable way, it’s like they never did. But this happened. It was just an accident. And it makes you appreciate all the time we get together. Because someday, it will be gone.
Rest in peace, Black Mamba. Rest in peace.