By Matt McFarland
When Kobe Bryant spoke, the world listened.
Married to the game may have been a phrase tailored made to the Black Mamba. A man so intense that he could drive teammates like Shaquille O’Neal and Dwight Howard out of his team and not care. Man who shot free throws with a torn Achilles tendon. A man who didn’t care who was for or against him, someone who wouldn’t take no for an answer.
Kobe Bryant was not the next Michael Jordan, nor was he the predecessor to Lebron James. Kobe was an enigma all to himself. The NBA all time leader in missed field goals, Bryant was never scared of any moment, from a freakishly athletic, afro-headed teenager number 8 to the poised assassin of the number 24, nothing was ever to big for him.
Kobe brought the basketball world to its knees, from carrying a team that featured Derek Fisher as a starter to a Finals win to terrorizing the league with outbursts of scoring that seemed super human, Kobe was every young NBA fan’s superman.
A man who played with and against some of the league’s most transcendent stars yet was never outshone. Neither Big Diesel nor King James could cover up the transcendent stardom of LA’s most loved son.
When father time caught with the Mamba he took it in stride, as long as he was biting his jersey any shot seemed possible. The mecca of footwork and hard work, Kobe never stopped scoring, even in his last game, the Mamba seemed to transcend time and went on one last scoring binge, a 60 point performance.
Kobe was more than basketball, he was basketball. Every shot, every crumbled paper ball into the garbage can, every utterance of the NBA cannot be done without one word, “KOBE.”
Kobe Bryant is gone, but will never be forgotten. Every incredibly clutch shot, every grimace of pain after coming down on a knee, every fist pump, screaming match, non-flinching, celebrating moment, will be remembered. Kobe Bryant will never die.
“Heroes get remembered, but legends never die.”
Edited by Garrett Jones | firstname.lastname@example.org