From the moment
I started crumpling up a piece of paper
And shooting imaginary
In my 1st grade classroom saying “Kobe”
I knew one thing was real:
You helped me fall in love with the game of basketball.
My love for the game is deep and I’ve given it my all -
From my mind & body
To my spirit & soul, to be like you.
As a six-year-old boy
Deeply in love with basketball
I watched you run out of the tunnel,
Inspiring countless young fans
To run out of their own tunnel someday.
And so we ran.
Millions of kids ran up and down every court
After every loose ball like you.
You took pride in your hustle
And gave the game your heart;
We wanted to be just like you.
We watched you play through the sweat and hurt
Not just for the show or the challenge
But because BASKETBALL was you.
You did everything for the game
Because that’s what you do
When something makes you feel as
Passionate as basketball made you feel.
You crushed a ten-year-old boy from Minnesota’s dream in 2004
And I’ll always remember that.
But it doesn’t seem to matter at all right now.
You gave your entire life to basketball.
Your heart was in the game
Your spirit is a part of the game
The world mourns as they have to say goodbye.
It’s not OK.
Nobody was ready to let you go.
We ache for your family
And hope they can find some peace
And can remember and cherish every moment you had together.
You were a husband and a father
You gave all that you had.
Just know that despite being gone too soon
You inspired millions of kids across the world
To spend hours alone in the gym
Carrying their basketball with them wherever they go.
To pretend there is :05 seconds on the clock,
Ball in our hands
5 … 4… 3 … 2 … 1
Respect to one of the greatest of all time,