The Legend of Kobe

Inspiring Greatness

You’ve likely heard by now, and you’re likely in one of two groups: 

  1. those who are sympathetic about people passing in a tragic accident
  2. those who are in extreme sorrow about one of the word’s greatest athletes passing, along with his daughter and friends

I fall under the latter, and there is a slight difference. When I feel extremely emotional, often when I think it’s illogical, I start to question why.

I had never met Kobe Bryant. I just owned one of his jerseys, I haven’t even watched a majority of his games, as I have always found sports in general to be a black hole where productivity is sucked away

But nonetheless, I was affected. I’ve watched basketball since the Jordan days, when my uncles would put on the games at any event we were at, outside of a wedding or funeral. Jordan was accepted to be the greatest of his game, and possibly the greatest athlete in the 90s. At a certain point, I, along with most, accepted Jordan to retire without anyone ever coming close to his skills.

Until Kobe emerged.

At first, he was hyped and he seemed a bit arrogant, while broadcasters promised he’d evolve to become the best on his team. And his work ethics, his charisma, his enthusiasm, all eventually did evolve and he became known to be the greatest in the league before retiring. Whether he ultimately surpassed Jordan is a matter of debate amongst friends over drinks. 

What is not debatable, however, is that Kobe evolved to become an inspiration, and eventually a legend. His spirit and his actions on the court would move you to work harder, to push yourself, and to aim for greatness when before you may have seen it as unachievable. For that, people like myself became instantly connected to him. Whether we agreed with a decision he made, we respected how he pushed on while injured, and how he pushed through even during his last minutes of his career. 

I don’t mean this to sound like a eulogy, but I wanted to determine how someone who had never met me, managed to inspire and push me, and also cause a pit to develop in my stomach upon me hearing of his demise. In my career, how do I aim for greatness while attempting to inspire and push others? 

I think the answer lies with transparency and the genuine goal of wanting to leave the world a better place than you found it. Admitting failures is difficult, but necessary to show where you come short, and to provide evidence that your success is a result of your journey and not some fluke. Aside from learning your own life lessons, how do you use those to teach others so they can apply it to their own lives? Kobe’s last tweet is from a day prior congratulating a long time competitor, LeBron James, on his recent success.

He was genuinely proud to see him grow and succeed. And I’m sure this translated to his children, as I heard one of his eldest daughter’s classmate remember her for being unusually kind and inclusive. Her unfortunate passing also adds to the entire tragedy. My takeaway is wherever I am in my journey, I have to show growth so my evolution is a testament to my determination to achieve greatness and to have a ripple effect. What’s my purpose if I’m not leaving the world a better place? I obviously do not nor likely ever will have the audience Kobe Bryant has, but even if I’m affecting 2 people, whether that’s my children one day, or 30 people who I motivate through my work, I can still aim to motivate them to excel.

Rest in peace Kobe. Hope there’s an afterlife and you’re playing a game of horse right now with Wilt Chamberlain.

Have any questions? Write your comments below or message me directly.

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