RIP Kobe - tributes and condolences

#93
I was walking around the mall today and I noticed this print. It was kind of sticking out into the main hall and for some reason I focused my attention on it and took this picture. Probably 30 minutes later the tragic news came up on my notifications. Just can't believe it

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Kingster

Hall of Famer
#96
When I heard the news in early afternoon I really thought it wasn't for real. I thought Kobe was going to call in and say, "the rumors of my demise are greatly exaggerated." I just couldn't believe it. Kobe was one the greatest competitors I've ever seen. It's almost like you thought he was going to win over death, win over fate. He was the epitome of striving, competing life. How could he possibly die? I am so sorry for his loss and his daughter's loss and hope his wife, his three surviving daughters, and his parent have much support and love in their life going forward.
 
#97
I have no words. I will urge everyone not to watch "dear basketball" unless you want to break down into tears. Horrible, tragic loss. It says something about the guy that sacramento kings fans are taking this so hard. What a very special and one of a kind person.
 
#99
As one of our greatest rivals, I hated Kobe with a passion. You still respect the skills though and his mentality. His competitiveness, drive, and just overall mindset was inspiring. Even seeing him retired was cool. To see how he appeared to be a great parent to his kids and how much charity work he did. Kobe granted over 200 Make a wishes.

I don't ever really feel affected by any celebrity deaths, but this one is getting me. Just watching the coverage, seeing players so affected, seeing videos of him and his kids, I couldn't help but to shed some tears.

Kobe thank you for the entertainment. Thank you helping to make our rivalry so entertaining. Those were my favorite years of basketball (obviously the Kings actually being good at that time plays a part). Lastly thank you for your charitable work.

You will be missed.
 
Kobe Names Kings Among Top Five Opponents (*from 2015 article)
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"In a conference call on Monday night, Kobe Bryant named the top five players and teams he faced during his career... It should come with a sense of pride for Kings fans that the first team out of his mouth, when choosing his top five teams, was the early 2000s Sacramento Kings."

It was heartbreaking back then, and it's heartbreaking now for a different reason. Sad day for basketball. Literally only retired a few years, this is supposed to be him enjoying family time. No one had a stronger focus and determination to win than him since MJ. You'll be missed, Mamba.

https://www.nba.com/kings/blog/kobe-names-kings-among-top-five-opponents
 
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Something like this puts things in perspective. Horrible news. He was the face of the Lakers through so many years of playoff heartbreak but I can't help but respect his competitiveness, his work ethic, and his drive to be great. Basketball as it exists today wouldn't be the same without him. R.I.P. Black Mamba. Can't believe you're actually gone.
 
A sad day at our house. Here are some pics from Kobe's final NBA game. I was on the 3rd level, in the corner...but I was there. I have the giveaways from the game still. The pic is what was posted on ebay the day after the game! Oh, and I paid WAAAAAY more than 48.00 for my ticket!
 

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I woke up this morning and once again am unable to hold back the tears. Kobe was the icon I grew up with as a kid, the biggest superstar in the world. It seems so unfair that he has been taken so young, but he lived a full life and packed in more achievements than most people can even dream of. A true champion in every sense of the word and had so much more to offer. The loss of GiGi and the Altobelli's makes this even harder. This is going to be such a rough time for everyone. I can't imagine how his family and friends are feeling right now.
 
Why are they even playing games today? Absolutely no one is in the mindset to play today and aside from a few loudmouth idiots everyone would have understood.
Because everyone of those players KNOW that Kobe would want them to play (I heard Carmelo say as much). If something like this happened to a prominent player during his playing days, he'd have wanted to play to honor the player. And because he's a guy that always moves forward, not backward. It's the same reason Bret Favre played in a game in the wake of his father's passing.

Everyone processes and handles tragedy differently. But a vast majority of these elite athletes have one thing in common. Look forward, not back. Don't dwell on the negative and move on to the next play. That's what Kobe would have done himself.
 
I didn't get a chance to check in to this site today until now. It's been a long day. Almost like a bad dream.

My wife woke me up to the news this morning. And to be honest, I'm still not processing it. It upset me in ways I wouldn't have imagined.

It feels just like when news broke that John Lennon, Michael Jackson and Robin Williams passed. Unexpected and surreal.

I realize things like this happen. To regular joes we don't know. To family and friends. And to celebs we admire and follow. But it's still something many aren't prepared for.

I know there are many out there that don't understand why millions and millions of people can be affected so deeply and profoundly by someone they either never met or really didn't know even if they did. But it's just not that simple.

Even without actually ever meeting a person, if you've grown up following their career, watching their performances and hearing them speak in public -- it's easy to feel like you know them a little bit. And in truth, you do. No matter how little that might be. Personality comes out via performance.

Whether it be music, sports, literature, politics, whatever. People are often moved and inspired by those that can do things they can't. Or are great at professions or hobbies they enjoy following. Hence they feel a connection to them.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with that.

I was 25 yo when Kobe was drafted into the NBA. His playing career up until today has encompassed half my life. I remember believing he’d be in for a reality check competing against grown men and wouldn't make the cut. Afterall, that kind of jump just didn't happen back then! While it took a couple seasons for him to get into the starting lineup & really flourish, I’ve never been more wrong about a players future than his.

I saw him play in person numerous times at ARCO and even once in PHX back in early 2003.

While I'm clearly an anti-Lakers guy, I vividly recall most of his 20 year career. From playing behind Eddie Jones to the air balls in Utah to the food poising here in Sacramento to the 81 point game against Toronto to the final game of his career. I remember & appreciate it all. I feel privileged to have watched his career.

It wasn't always that way, though. Circa 1996 - 2005, I couldn't stand Kobe or Shaq. Or Phil Jackson. Or any of the other Lakers players. I really had nothing but contempt for that franchise (still do).

But as I got older, and both Kobe and Shaq got older, I grew to appreciate and admire their careers. They both grew up as people as they aged and started their families. By accounts of those that do know Kobe, he's been a good husband and father for quite a long time now. It's clear he was an active and loving parent of 4 daughters. And I can relate to that. I also relate to his 'Mamba Mentality'.

For a long while now, I've considered myself a converted fan even though I rooted against him and his team. I fully realize, like everyone, he's a flawed human being. And made mistakes. And I don't even want anyone to dredge up or discuss negatives from his past that may or may not be true (unbelievably, I've seen someone do this on social media). Now is not the time for any of that nonsense.

While I'm still salty over the 2002 Western Conference Finals and firmly believe the KINGS were the better team, it was a privilege to watch our team battle Shaq & Kobe. I’ll never forget that era of basketball. EVER.

IMO, that was one of best playoff series of all-time. In my lifetime anyway. And it wasn't even the Finals. In spirit it probably was, though, as they were the two best teams. And it took two HOF players, a half court buzzer beater that shouldn't have counted along with a fluky batted ball w/ tenths of a second remaining in GM3, and a sketchy GM6 to beat our KINGS. I take a tiny bit of solace in that.

So, with all that said, the news today really shook me up. Add to it that 8 other human beings, including children, lost their lives and countless others forever affected by the loss. My son currently lives in Simi Valley, which is mere miles from where the accident occurred. So I felt connected in other ways as well.

It's just surreal to me to hear or read "Kobe Bryant gone at 41". I just can't wrap my head around it or believe it yet. Which is silly. But true.

I'll end by saying, thoughts an prayers to all involved. And to those that are affected by it in any way.
 
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Tetsujin

The Game Thread Dude
I've spent all day (I literally woke up to the news of Kobe's death here in Japan) trying to process what's happened.

Kobe and David Stern both gone in weeks. Two pillars for me to direct bile and many expletives at in my youth (the WCF still hurts but now it's a most wistful, meaningful pain) who both also would up being among Sacramento's most ardent supporters when the rest of the world seemed to be on board with moving the team to Seattle.

Thank you for being such a huge part of my formative years and in your own ways a part of my own life.

I made fun of Kobe for taking too many shots or seeming to forget he had teammates for long stretches of the game or forgetting to play defense for the last ten years of his career but it was only because he was so damn good and so damn scary and, even after his retirement, I always lived in the constant fear that the accursed Mamba would somehow come back and hit one last buzzer beater to steal the day and leave me heartbroken and in tears.

Well, yet again he got me on that one. And just like every other time, I really wish he hadn't.

May he and his daughter and the other victims and their families find peace.
 
My God, i still feel sick and it doesn’t feel real. I’m a Kings fan and Laker hater for life, but Kobe will always be one of my most favorite players.

He was truly someone to marvel and fear on the basketball court. I wish every player had an ounce of his fire and determination. God bless his soul, his daughters and everyone else the world has lost. Ugh
 
I've spent all day (I literally woke up to the news of Kobe's death here in Japan) trying to process what's happened.

Kobe and David Stern both gone in weeks. Two pillars for me to direct bile and many expletives at in my youth (the WCF still hurts but now it's a most wistful, meaningful pain) who both also would up being among Sacramento's most ardent supporters when the rest of the world seemed to be on board with moving the team to Seattle.

Thank you for being such a huge part of my formative years and in your own ways a part of my own life.

I made fun of Kobe for taking too many shots or seeming to forget he had teammates for long stretches of the game or forgetting to play defense for the last ten years of his career but it was only because he was so damn good and so damn scary and, even after his retirement, I always lived in the constant fear that the accursed Mamba would somehow come back and hit one last buzzer beater to steal the day and leave me heartbroken and in tears.

Well, yet again he got me on that one. And just like every other time, I really wish he hadn't.

May he and his daughter and the other victims and their families find peace.
Such a beautiful, well said post. Thank you.