How Kobe Bryant’s Death Brought Out The Best In America
My name is Shannon Boy and I am a writer for CBBReview. Here at CBBReview we talk mainly about college basketball until we hear the final horn sound of the NCAA Championship of the tournament in April. Then we take a slight break and then we go all out all over again.
This past weekend, the basketball world lost a legend who always went all out everyday. For twenty years millions watched his passion and his drive lived out on a basketball court for all to admire. In all reality though, this person the world watched and admired and lost was a hero. He was already a hero to many including all four of his daughters…..but there were so many others. The sick kids in the hospitals, the kids who go to school who feel they have nothing to live for but yet they still dream. How do you know they dream? They have these rolled up wads of paper that they throw at their friends and when the teacher tells them to throw them away they line up their arm and fade away shooting the paper wad into the trash can yelling, “Kobe for the three!”
Kobe made mistakes. Who hasn’t? I will get to that later. But was he a hero? Yes. Like what Michael Jordan was to me in my days growing up, Kobe, LeBron, D-Wade, Chris Paul, Westbrook, Curry…. they mean just as much to this generation who didn’t see Bird, Magic, Kareem, Erving, Malone, Stockton, Barkley, O’Neal, Robinson, Drexler, Pippen and oh yes…. Jordan. Sometimes a generation is blessed to see greatness in its highest form. For this generation, it was Kobe Bryant. And yes I called him a hero. Why do you ask? Here you go.
Let’s take a second and think about some things.
In the past four days, we have heard nothing but the great loss of Kobe Bryant. It has been everywhere.
There’s a lesson to take from this.
With all the presidential impeachment stuff going on with our Senate and President, no one has cared who was a Republican or who was a Democrat on that helicopter because we lost not just one American who worked hard to get what he had but 9 Americans. Not 5 Republicans and 4 Democrats. Not 5 Democrats and 4 Republicans…….. but 9 Americans. We didn’t care about the political affiliation of these people. We just cared about the people….. these Americans we lost.
We have had people of all colors and races and ethnicities….. white, black, Asian, Latino, Europeans, …… many around the world have came together in some way to mourn and to honor the death of this one man who just wanted to be seen as the greatest at his craft. No one has spoken about race. No one has spoken about color. We have only heard great words about “the man”.
We have had so many young and older people of all races and ethnicities…… especially whites who have come to mourn him. There have been so many peoples from lands near and far who have come together to mourn the loss of not just a man …. but an African American man. Does that mean anything? To me it does.
It shows me one great and important thing……
When we as people, when we as a human race ….. are able to begin to look past people’s color or the shade of their skin…. and begin to look at who they are as people….. maybe just maybe we can get along together on this great big planet. Did you ever hear of the story of Bird and Magic? One white, one black. Great rivals. Great rising basketball superstars in the NBA. CYet it took a commercial they did together in French Lick, Indiana for Converse for them to find out that as men there wasn’t much of a difference between the two of them growing up in life. The best friendship of a lifetime was formed after that commercial was shot and what brought them together to do all this? The orange leather of a beautiful round ball.
Did Kobe make mistakes? Yes. So he or she of you who is perfect in your life and has never made a mistake let him or her throw the first basketball at his coffin. I’m pretty sure no one will be throwing anything.
When it comes to politics or the law in general, if someone breaks a law, they need to be charged but if all we are doing is trying to get people out of office or out of a position because of power plays and because one group feels like they are entitled to be in charge over another? Then the peoples of this country or any place for that matter have no right whatsoever to say a word about any other group of people in the world who try to take over another group of people simply because they have that power to do so. That’s pretty much the pot calling the kettle black.
Kobe taught us a lot simply in the way of how he viewed his life and how he wanted the things that he did in life. He wanted what people had. He wanted to be an MVP. He wanted to be an NBA Champion. He wanted to be a Finals MVP. He wanted to be a scoring champion. He wanted to be an All Star. He wanted to not just be a Hall of Fame inductee, he wanted to be the best of them all! But he wanted to get it the right way. He wanted to outwork everyone in his path in life:
1). Always strive to learn and make yourself not just better but be the best at what you do. Gather information and learn. If you don’t know something but you want to know about it, don’t wait for someone to tell you what you want to hear. Find out that information yourself. Make yourself knowledgeable. Think about it. Here is an example. Kobe spoke five languages. Some of us can barely speak one.
2). Always strive to want better for your family and yourself. Be the servant for them and give of yourself. Sacrifice for them to the point that … it may take sacrificing your life if need be. Kobe left this world sacrificing his time and serving others by flying them in his own personal helicopter to a travel basketball game. Something that we learned he always did many times to make sure his daughter and others like her had the chance to get better because he wanted to work to help them realize the dreams that he once had as a kid.
3). Always strive to give your gift away to others. More than likely these people were once where you were in your life at one time. What an impact you can make by allowing them some insight into where you are and how you got there.
4). As the front man or the “lead” man of a team or group, the people with you will see you as one of two ways.
a) They will see you as a boss trying to manage his or her employees or “teammates” or
b) as a leader who is inspiring them to innovate, think creatively, and strive for perfection.
As the leader, do you show what it means to be a leader? People saw Kobe up at 5am working on his game, running sprints, shooting free throws…..doing nothing but work until late at night. Then repeating the same regime all over again the next day and the next day and so on. Why? Because through his example he strived to pull others up to them… to work like him.
Every team either has a boss or a leader. People always need a leader who will help them achieve greatness and will pull them up to the level where he or she is at. Leaders lead by example.
They do not need a boss that makes sure they will be held down and talked down to and held back and made sure the people under them will never have what they have…. especially if they also have a gift that is similar to theirs that could make an impact in the world as well. That’s selfish.
Just consider it. In Kobe’s death, more people have quitting worrying about their own petty selfish needs and worried more about the needs of others and made a point to go to their family and friends to say nothing else but, “thank you” or ” I love you”. Because if Kobe’s death taught us anything at all, it is that no matter if you are rich or poor, famous or infamous, death finds us all and we are not guaranteed the next day.
If we as a human race can help to pull others up as Kobe did, to give our gift away to others as Kobe did, to help people make as big of an impact as we have made on the world in our own way as Kobe did, then even in his death… Kobe Bryant will have continued to do what he always strived to do while he lived…….
Make the world, and the people around him……..
And that my friends is a hero each of us should strive to be like every single day. Through his death, Kobe’s influence and impact of his life, his work ethic, his passion and drive in life is being felt worldwide on millions of people.
And….. it is making people want to be better.
That is why my friends…. Kobe Bryant is a hero. He picked up a round orange ball and he dreamed.
This sport of basketball that we love whether it is on the youth league level, middle school, high school, junior college, college, D–League or professional level, the love of this sport through the work of this one man that we have lost is being felt worldwide tonight four days later. Tonight we honor the dream but mourn the worker.
When you die how do you want people to honor the dream you had in life? Will they or would they want to? Did you do anything to leave an impact on this world?
The thing is….each of us can impact the world no matter how big or little in our own way…..and unlike what you may believe, you don’t need an orange ball to do it.