Kobe <3

Collin Cardot

Listen, I’m not going to be the first person to tell you about Kobe Bryant’s death, nor will
I have the most interesting story about him. I simply hope that I can add to a seemingly endless
stream of stories talking about this man and his greatness. As a kid, Kobe Bryant might’ve been
one of my least favorite people (priorities in the wrong place, I know). My Grizzlies were
somewhat awful for the majority of Kobe’s prime, so when his highness would come into the
Pyramid or the Fedex Forum and drop 50+ including a game winner on my 24 and 58 Grizzlies,
my anger only grew. I grew up and Kobe got older; as Kobe passed his prime my hatred moved
on to other California-based teams. I was fortunate enough to be able to attend Kobe’s final
game in Memphis. I was overcome with emotion that I didn’t fully understand, I thought I hated
this man! Before I even knew it, I had joined in with the “Kobe” chants put on by the rest of the
crowd like the hypocrite I am. I’m glad I learned to appreciate greatness before it was too late.
Kobe seemed to have embodied that word, greatness. Not only did he embody all the glits and
glam that come with the word, but all the behind the scenes things that were required to achieve
it. Ask nearly any NBA player, they all have stories about Kobe beating them to the gym in the
wee hours of the morning. He was a real-life example that you can accomplish whatever you
truly set your mind to. He wasn’t even limited to basketball. After retirement Kobe went on to
become a published author and even won an Oscar. However, if you ask people near to him,
Kobe’s greatest accomplishment was his children. Lebron James said that retirement was the
happiest he’d ever seen Kobe. In such a tragic time like this, ESPN anchor Elle Duncan softened
the blow by saying Kobe, “died doing his favorite thing, being a dad.” This loss is going to
weigh heavy in the hearts of competitors all over the world. But if I know anything about Kobe,
he’d want us to honor him by giving 110% in whatever we love to do, just as he did. Admittedly,
that’s been hard to do these past couple of days. However, fans everywhere are starting to pick
up the pieces to push on and maintain that famous Mamba Mentality Kobe patented. His legacy
lives on through those he inspired with this phrase. His touch is evident in so many lives,

including other NBA superstars he inspired. R.I.P. Kobe Bryant and the others affected, gone but
never forgotten.