The Death of Kobe Bryant

I am from Chicago, Illinois.  Michael Jordan will forever be loved in Chicago.  From my first day in Los Angeles, I knew one thing –  well maybe two things: The weather was loved, and the City of Los Angeles loved Kobe Bryant.

When I first learned the news of Kobe Bryant’s death, I was in the grocery store and I received a text saying TMZ has reported that Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash. I called the person that sent me the text and said that’s not true because no one in the store acted like anything happened. Moments later I received an alert from ESPN concerning the news. At that moment, a lady standing near me dropped a carton of eggs and tears began to flow in the store. At that moment, I knew it was true.

Shortly after receiving that news, they said five people were dead in the crash. I called my father who is a die hard Lakers fan to ask him if he had heard the news.  He was quiet. Then I asked him if Kobe’s family was in the helicopter as well, he said he didn’t know. Later we learned that his 13-year-old daughter was in the helicopter and they were headed to her basketball game.

Kobe & Gigi still had so much to give to the world and it just didn’t seem fair. Kobe had transitioned well from the game of basketball and was settling in on his life after the game. Gigi was just getting started.

The quiet hush in the store felt like everyone lost a family member. I’ve never seen or heard a store that quiet before. For a moment, race & gender didn’t make a difference.  I saw everyone talking, crying, and hugging each other. Then I called my brother who is also a Lakers fan and asked him his thoughts on why a death of someone great brings us together. Why can’t we be that way with each other on a daily basis? Why can’t we appreciate each other while we are alive? Why can’t we settle differences while we are alive? And why can’t we love while we are alive?

Kobe Bryant’s death taught us that it doesn’t make a difference how old, how much money, how talented you are. When God says its time, its time. We often act like we have forever on this earth, when, in fact, we don’t. We need to live life now and not wait, because tomorrow isn’t promised.

Nippy Hussle & Kobe Bryant’s deaths both rocked Los Angeles, but in very different ways. Both incidents placed attention on Life itself. Vanessa Bryant and her children lost a husband, dad and sister all in one day. How unfair is that? How must they go on? How many times have Kobe & Gigi gone to the gym or a game and came back home? Who would have thought on that foggy Sunday morning they wouldn’t make it back home?

I am so thankful that I woke up and was able to help someone, encourage someone, mentor, and make someone laugh or just listen to them. Tomorrow isn’t promise for any of us. What are you going to do with your life, if given the opportunity to wake up each day? Think about Gigi, she was only 13, and the other lives that were lost on that Sunday Morning. That Sunday Morning made me so appreciative of life and the opportunities that are given to me.  I will never again take anything for granted. Coach is out……..

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