Dear Kobe Bryant

It was 2:30 eastern time in the afternoon… while I was driving to my last store of the day. My cousin calls me and he says Manja I’m not trying to ruin your day but I just seen a report from TMZ that you had died in a Helicopter Crash… When he said TMZ I waved it off because they’re never accurate but then 15 mins later my ESPN app goes off and my heart drops… At that moment in disbelief I still couldn’t believe that you the Black Mamba was gone.. The fan in me wouldn’t allow it to be true…. but the human in me realized you were gone…. I didnt grow up on Michael Jordan…. but I witnessed the last couple of years of him… but you were my Michael Jordan, I watched you from 17 play in a league around the time that had grown men running it… You played 20 seasons with the same team and remained loyal to the organization.

The moments when people counted you out… You found a way to overcome adversity and achieve your goals each time… You were a student of the game at first but then you became the ultimate teacher…. I’ll never forget December 28th 2015 in Charlotte when I got the chance to finally see you play for the last time cause it was your Farewell tour to the NBA… Many times you came to Charlotte and I always missed out on seeing you play but that night was special… I was invited to see you play… by luck my friends Step dad asked me did I want to come…. Me being your biggest fan didn’t hesitate to say yes… Finally I was given that chance to actually see you play up close… We get to the arena and I’m thinking were going up to the nose bleed, I can remember it like yesterday… the Time Warner Arena Associate scans my friends Step Dad season tickets and we walk to the bottom right behind the goal to section 105… I’m totally confused and I’m thinking to myself…. O Shit… that’s you warming up before the game… Of course i get footage of you warmimg up because this is a very memorable moment in my life that I will never forget…

The Atmosphere in the arena is breathtaking taking… Jordan gives you a dope ass tribute… before the start of the game… Thinking in my head…. I’m really watching you play right now…in a arena and not at home on television… After the game I parted ways with my friends step dad and I waited with all the other fans in the cold to see you pull up to the Ritz Carlton.. You get out of the black SUV…. everybody swarms you… we all follow you to the elevator!!! Thanking you for giving us… 20 amazing seasons!!!! And championships..You were most definitely more than basketball to me, You were inspiration on the days when I didnt feel inspired… I won’t lie after you retired, I lost love for the NBA… it just wasn’t the same to me… but I continued to follow your moves after basketball…I bought your book… Mamba Mentality…. I read it several times after I would get off work…. I was amazed by the other stuff I learned about you thru reading the book…. Every page I was reliving a game I had seen before… You are the G.O.A.T in my eyes and I dont care what anybody else says…. Thank you for everything you did in this world…. Thank you for teaching me true hardwork and determination. Until the next time we meet….I will carry that mamba Mentality for the rest of my life… Manja out!!!

image from clutchpoints

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