Today is 2/24/20 and your memorial at Staples. I wanted to share something I wrote recently with ya'll.
I’m so sad. My life isn’t supposed to change as I’m not someone who knew you personally, but you’re someone who was one of my greatest sports influences. I read about how you were honored and buried in Corona Del Mar and instantly recall how you inspired me to one of my personal, greatest sports moments.
I was a 15 year old sophomore playing in the final of the high school tennis team nationals at Corona Del Mar. The tournament final was against the hosts on their home ground.
On their center court, I was facing a high school senior about to start playing tennis at USC. There I was - this small 5’6” sophomore facing off against a 6’ senior.
There were about 300 people there all cheering against me.
I had an unusual calm before this match. What would Kobe do? I recalled how you said there’s nothing like the sound of the home crowd. However, you also said there is nothing like the silence you hear when you shut down a stadium cheering against you. “Ok Kobe, today I’m going to make them silent.”
During the entire match I did not give a fuck when people cheered against me. I yearned to silence the crowd. Here was my chance to be like Kobe.
I demolished him. After the match I heard it. The unmistakeable silence. I did it, Kobe. I made them silent and it was beautiful.
Thank you, Kobe for that inspiration.
You’ve inspired millions with your grit, work ethic, and attitude. You had a profound impact on me.
You were gone to soon, but
Mamba mentality never dies.
Rest in power,