Mamba is Out. RIP Kobe. I pray that the piece I wrote on the day of your retirement found its way to you and your family, for Mamba, is now Out! May 26, 2016, 12:03 PM Here is a letter written to Kobe, the day after his final game sent to many analysts, newspapers and, suddenly, this was an issue. Holla'back was told, over 20 years ago, we were way ahead of the game....SOME THINGS NEVER CHANGE & .........SOME THINGS ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN
BASKETBALL: AN OPEN LETTER TO KOBE BRYANT
As I watched, with the millions of other fans, worldwide, your spectacular farewell performance last evening, a sudden and profound sadness foreshadowed the jubilation and proclamations of greatness cast over your brilliant twenty year professional career. For we, my husband and I know the pride of a parent seeing their child perform at a high level, as an elite college athlete.
We know the pride felt and shared our child’s emotions when her final game was played; not on a national level, yet on a level that strangers certainly cherish; yet parents forever relish!
For such brilliance was not borne in a vacuum. Such brilliance was cultivated from the time spent wallowing in the space of your mother’s womb. Such brilliance was cultivated by the endless sleepless nights spent with you and your sibling(s) as children; the nights you were ill or simply dissatisfied with losing one of the thousands of amateur games played prior to rising into the international/professional ranks. The financial and other sacrifices of time spent shuttling you to and fro'; all culminating in the tremendous success and adulation bestowed upon your spectacular career, this great and final night. Yet, they may have sat, just like the writer of this piece, watching from afar, as you celebrated with someone else’s parent; as you hugged someone else’s sibling; as you kissed and cherished, as you well should, your wife and their beautiful granddaughters; whom never would have the opportunity to bask in your glory had it not been for your parents’ unconditional love and sacrifices.
And, no, you owe them nothing.
And yes, there are things that you and they well know that the world, nor the writer of this piece, does not regarding your relationship and the struggles endured. Family struggles that are certainly different from others’; yet, make no mistake, are experienced and endured by most.
Yet, what I do know is that you may not get another twenty years to hug them as you hugged “your family”..they will not get another day to see/ live your brilliance at the professional level; another day to witness your final game scoring sixty points. For, that baby faced assassin, killer instinct, drive, determination and will came from somewhere! They are the beginning…and somewhere in the middle, you may have drifted apart, for reasons we, the public, may never know nor need to! Yet I pray that there is the slightest of possibilities that an attempt can be made to mend the broken pieces of that potentially severed relationship well before your original family’s “final shot clock” officially expires! For, as you now know when it’s over…Mamba Out!