A Memory of Kobe Bryant

January 27th, 2020

In 2016, Toronto hosted the NBA All-Star game. Canadian basketball fans were ecstatic. The best basketball players in the world were making their way north to celebrate the game of basketball. My son and I attended the All-Star game practice. We arrived early to soak in the All-Star atmosphere. Shortly after we arrived, we were very lucky to have been spotted by one of the event coordinators, who asked if we wanted front row seats. My son and I excitedly said yes and quickly followed the event coordinator down to the first row. I remember thinking, “Our feet are on the court…this is amazing!”

It was a magical experience. We were mere feet away from our basketball heroes: Lebron James, Steph Curry, and Dwyane Wade (to name a few). The 2016 NBA All-Star game would be Kobe Bryant’s last All-Star game, as he had already announced his intention to retire at the end of the season.

There was so much to take in. Coaches directed the players through drills. Team mascots pumped up the crowd. Music played. Players joked with each other.

At some point, the practice slowed. I noticed one player looking up at the JumboTron. Then another player looked up. Then another. Then another…until all the players were looking up. The JumboTron was playing a video of Kobe Bryant’s career highlights. The players kept watching the Kobe highlight video until it ended minutes later. It was a sign of deep respect. I realized in that moment that Kobe Bryant was the hero of my son’s heroes.

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