I didn’t know you, but I loved you.
I remember being intrigued when you were drafted.
Everyone was talking about this young phenomenon entering the NBA right from High school. You were 17, I was 10.
In my mind you were a kid just like me!
You were about to go in a league with men twice your age and I wanted to see you win. I wanted to see you be the best.
I watched every single game that season.. you didn’t play much but I watched every game just in case they put you in.
You were my escape, I lost my mom the same year you were drafted 1996. That was an awful year for me but there you were.
Easy on the eyes smooth chocolate skin and you had dimples when you smiled really big.
I loved to see you smile.. I loved to watch you play even more.
I watched you play with my granddad he was my best friend.
He and my nana were raising me now and through our grief and loss we loved watching you.
We’d scream and shout and cheer.
I was a huge fan.
Whenever I made friends I made sure I asked “Do you like Kobe” and if they did.. they were cool. If they didn’t well, they had to be educated on your greatness.
Let me tell you, my mouth and fist worked hard defending your honor.
I cried when you got married.
I knew I would never married you.. I was a dorky kid from Temecula but in my mind, you were husband and Vanessa just stole my man🤣
I went to my best friends house, she held me as I cried real tears for a man I never knew and a relationship I never had.. but that’s teen life.
Most girls had boys from bands on their walls. I had you.
I had you plastered on my wall.
When I did date boys.. they knew they came second to you!
You’re all I ever talked about growing up, I studied you, I collected every magazine cover, watched every ESPY, I loved you.
I loved your style, your voice, your intellect, in high school my favorite fact about you was that you spoke fluent Italian.
I wore your pin on my jacket in my senior photo so I could tell my kids who you were, when they asked “what’s that pin?”
I did have a child, she’s 13 just like Gigi.
When I was pregnant you had your “81” game. That game was so exciting I kept having contractions and I said to my nana “if he makes one more shot, I’m naming her Kobe”
You didn’t make another shot that night and my nana joked
“I’m kinda glad.. we have a cake that says “Brooklyn” for the baby shower”
I was a single mom, I saved up and brought my little girl laker gear.
We went to Laker games so I could show her you.
I remember we took a little road trip to The Staples center and we were soo excited! I told her
“Chile, that’s one fine man and he’s the greatest, let’s just soak it in, we are in the same room as Kobe!”
She became a Kobe fan, she really didn’t have a choice.
I watched you grow into husband, a retired athlete. I watched and cheered the fact you coached your daughters team and I loved how you loved your wife and kids.
I’ve watched you for over 20 years.
I have so much to thank you for. You’re the reason I got my first nursing job.They asked “what I wanted to do as a nurse?”
I said “I want to be the Kobe Bryant of nurses, I wanted to the best”
When I worked I thought of you. I work hard because of you. I had the mamba mentality.
I’m allergic to being lazy, always have been. I owe that to you.
I fell in love with you over 20 years and today my heart is broken because you’re gone and so is Gigi. I hurt for Vanessa. I still can’t believe this real as I type this.
I know I didn’t “know” you but your impact on my life is undeniable.
In your 41 years you made the world love you.
We love your wife, your daughters and we are in mourning.
Thank you for giving us…you. Thank you for the motivation, inspiration.
I think you’re bigger than life or death.
You’ll live on in so many people. In so many stories.
I never thought we’d lose you Kobe, you’re a superhero. You were my super hero. My Kobe.
I can’t fathom the pain those who really knew you are feeling.
I just knew what I saw and what I saw I loved.
Thank you so much, Goodbye.
Love always A fan.