Remembering Kobe Bryant

Sometimes there are Stories that are Greater than Football:

It has been a rough couple of weeks in sports.  As we were all trying to get over the loss in San Francisco, the sports world received the tragically shocking news that Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven others were tragically killed in a helicopter accident in Calabasas California.  

Throughout the last week we have seen many tributes and accounts of the positive impact Kobe left on the world but tragedies like these take an awfully long time to process and are impossible to get over.  To me, Kobe was a hero.  I modeled my game after him, I wore his merchandise and I adopted his mamba mentality in my own life.  

I watched him as he was on top of the world and I watched him fall from grace and become a villain.  I saw him own his mistakes and dedicate his life to making changes and eventually reach the pinnacle of life once again.  His life was one that was well lived not because of his professional success but because of his personal growth.  

In the early 2000's he was seen as an up and coming ambitious superstar who wanted all of the fame and glory for himself.  He believed the world was his oyster and took what he wanted from it.   In the late 2010's he finally realized that the key to any successful relationship in life was trust.  From a professional side there was no greater example of this, then when he went 6-24 shooting in game 7 of the finals against the Boston Celtics.  

Kobe was off of his game and there was no magic elixir that was going to change that.  Instead of giving in, the Lakers pulled together as a team and the mamba mentality shined through in other areas of his game.  Kobe was determined to impact the game by setting up his teammates, grabbing rebounds, hustling for 50-50 balls, and playing lockdown defense.  As we all remember, the Lakers erased a double digit second half deficit in game 7, and Kobe won his fifth title.

After this performance you could just see the satisfaction he got from the teams' performance.  He took this same mentality into his family life.  He began the second stage of his career by becoming a fixture in the lives of his children.  By the time his career was over, he was no longer Kobe the assassin, he was Kobe the family man and self-proclaimed goof ball.  He was a philanthropist, an advocate for equality and social justice, a business man, a story teller, but most importantly, he was a loving husband and father.

Earlier I said, Kobe's life was a life well lived because of his personal growth.  That personal growth and evolution was exemplified by the way in which he gave his life to providing his daughter and other young women, a platform of equality within the sports arena by the creating the Mamba Sports Academy.  

It is clear that Kobe's impact was the greatest on those that loved him most.  He was loved fiercely by his wife Vanessa, and their children Natalia, Gianna, Bianka, and Capri as well as many friends and admirers worldwide.  In the end, Kobe's family was his world.  He realized that each moment with them was a gift, he no longer lived for himself, he lived for them.  In his life's final moments, he was able comfort, hold, and console his beloved Gianna, and show her every ounce of his love for her as they crossed over together, in each other's arms.

Rest in Peace

Kobe Bryant

Gianna Bryant

John Altobelli

Keri Altobelli

Alyssa Altobelli

Christina Mauser

Sarah Chester

Payton Chester

Ara Zobayan

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David Michalski is a staff writer for Cheesehead TV. He can be found on Twitter @kilbas27dave 

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Comments (18)

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Houndog's picture

February 01, 2020 at 12:34 pm

The sports world seems to be nearly global in mourning Kobe Bryant, and to that degree (sports) it's not surprising, the man was an icon. Reports of his post-career off-court actions, and the things he was doing for his community only serve to reinforce that idea. A true tragedy!
The even larger tragedy is not limited to the loss of Kobe's 13 y/o daughter, but also the losses suffered by three additional families, one leaving two now-orphaned children behind, and another leaving a now-single father with three young children.
Wishing God's best to all of them.

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Ferrari-Driver's picture

February 01, 2020 at 04:46 pm

As I read David's comments and skimming through several other websites echoing comments along the same lines as this one, I can't help but think of the other young men/women/children along with the numerous soldiers, policemen, firemen and others who lost their lives this year as well and didn't have Cheesehead TV, ESPN, NBC, Fox News, the President and others showering adulation upon them. The families of all the others who were killed didn't have thousands of well wishers sending cards and posting comments are articles such as this one sending sympathy. Somehow, it doesn't seem fair.

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13TimeChamps's picture

February 01, 2020 at 06:57 pm

If Kobe Bryant is one of your "hero's", I understand why you are one of the more disliked reporters on this site. You modeled your "game" after him? Really? Didn't realize you were a professional basketball player.
Kobe Bryant was an incredibly gifted basketball player. He was also someone who put a 19 year old girl through absolute hell back in 2003-2004. Through his wealth and ability to hire the best attorneys available to him, the rape charges were dropped, while this young woman, along with the district attorney wanting to prosecute, received death threats.
His death, and even more so, the death of his daughter, was a horrible tragedy. But he is not a hero. Not in any sense of the word.

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CAG123's picture

February 01, 2020 at 08:26 pm

He or his crazed fans? You gotta be really stupid to hold him accountable for the actions of other grown ass adults and then you're going to try and hold him getting the best legal team possible against him? Would you have felt better if he just got some public defender? With nothing proven against him you take the opportunity to throw dirt on a dead mans name. You sir are pathetic.

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13TimeChamps's picture

February 01, 2020 at 11:18 pm

And you defending a rapist is beyond pathetic. Honor your hero,because, you know, he was really good at putting a ball through a hoop.

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CAG123's picture

February 02, 2020 at 10:55 am

Innocent until proven guilty right? I love how people dismiss that when its not them or someone they probably don't like. I ask now the same thing I asked then why does a 24 year old basketball player and the face of the NBA need to rape anyone? Rape isn't something you just fall into and we're talking about someone who had no issues before or since. Yet on that day he decided he was just going to rape this women?

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13TimeChamps's picture

February 02, 2020 at 11:25 am

Maybe you should research the case. I lived in colorado at the time and followed it very closely. Another hotel employee witnessed her exiting the room. He stated she had a shocked look on her face and her clothes were disheveled. Does that sound like someone who just had consensual sex. And please explain Kobe's public "apology" after the charges were dropped, saying looking back on it, he could see how she might have thought it wasn't consensual. Who says that after a consensual encounter?
Believe what you want. I never said he planned to rape her. But at some point she said no. He ignored her and kept going. That's called rape. If you're naive enough to believe just because he wasn't found guilty that he's innocent, continue living in your celebrity worshipping bubble. The whole point of my original post was that he's not a 'hero'. And he's not.

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CAG123's picture

February 02, 2020 at 03:01 pm

lol so you living in Colorado makes you an eye witness huh? You know more than anyone else because you lived there? With everything she said happened sounds like a clear cut case to me so why drop the charges? Why allow herself to be bought? Sounds like that's all someone was after. You're going to allow a bunch of fans to keep you from pursuing justice but then turn around a take some cash? Yeah okay.

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13TimeChamps's picture

February 02, 2020 at 04:12 pm

Ok, this conversation is over. You know what's pathetic? Morons like you blaming the victim. Proving a rape case is one of the hardest cases to prove. And, more often than not, the victim is the one who ends up being dragged through the mud and put on trial. Which is why so many women never even report being raped. So an unsophisticated, small town 19 year old was reluctant to go up against a millionaire and his powerful, high priced attorneys, and just wanted it to go away. Is it really that hard for you to understand?
But to turn your question around....If he wasn't guilty, why settle the case out of court? Yeah okay.
Again, no reason to respond. People like you just infuriate me. Go crawl back under your rock.

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mrj007's picture

February 02, 2020 at 08:52 pm

Well said

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mrj007's picture

February 02, 2020 at 08:50 pm

US legal system only works for those who can afford it. Just ask OJ. Bryant was a criminal and due to stature and entitlement got away with rsoe. Any other person would be incarcerated.

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marpag1's picture

February 05, 2020 at 01:39 am

"You modeled your 'game' after him? Really?"

LLLOOOLLL. He's writin' with that 'mamba mentality,' dammit. Maybe he thought it was momma mentality...

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13TimeChamps's picture

February 05, 2020 at 09:49 am

Can I like this more than once!! LOL

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PackfanNY's picture

February 02, 2020 at 08:09 am

I do feel sympathy for anyone dying in such a tragic accident including Kobe Bryant. I also have a special empathy for the children that were involved because they have been cheated out of there lives.

That being said, the adoration of celebrity in this country has gone overboard. Sure it’s sad. Tragic. However, calling Kobe a “hero” and talking about how “hard” Kobe had to work to play a child’s game is well, a little over the top. Plenty of people wake up every morning at the crack of dawn to schlep off to work to take care of their families. Many work far longer days and hours just to put food on the table. No adoring fans, no tributes when they go. Many are in your family and certainly in mine. You know them as the “old man” or “old lady”. I also picked up on LeBron telling me how tough it was for Kobe to “retire” at 38!? Imagine that. Sad sure. Time for some perspective though.

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CAG123's picture

February 02, 2020 at 11:21 am

False equivalence how do you know how hard a basketball player has to work to say someone else works way harder? How you been in theor shoes to make such a bogus claim? We're talking about people who commit their whole lives to this from the time theyre a kid practicing and perfecting their craft. I love how peolpe dismiss what athletes do as "just a kids game" as if its that easy millions of kids play this game and don't make. Yes the same way it can be tough for you to retire after doing something you love for so long is the same way these athletes feel why should it be easier because theyre rich? When you dedicate your life to something its going to be hard to walk away from it period don't transfer your own thought of money bringing happiness or money making things easier to someone else a lot of these guys love what they do and walk away from it with aches and pains and scars just like someone who works back breaking labor. No perspective needed.

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mrj007's picture

February 02, 2020 at 08:55 pm

Kobe was probably as good at basketball as he was at rape.

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Qoojo's picture

February 02, 2020 at 04:00 pm

At least confine the adoration of celebrity to packers. Plus, this is written you like you know his actual motivations and were personal buds.

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marpag1's picture

February 05, 2020 at 07:16 am

Really, even that is going way too far. I see no reason whatsoever to 'idolize' any athlete at all, or to regard them as a 'hero.' That is complete and total BS unless they do something a hell of a lot more important than play a sport. The sad thing about this is that when it gets right down to it, the people who are regarded as heroes and icons are among the VERY LEAST IMPORTANT people in society. Actors, athletes, comedians, etc..... all mindless diversions or momentary entertainment.

I love sports, but let's not get crazy.

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