Kobe

Kobe

Got the news about Kobe Bryant and his daughter passing away yesterday, together, after a helicopter crashed. Tragic for them and the others on that flight. My heart goes out to their families and friends; and to many of mine, who I know loved Kobe too.

This is a reflection of what Kobe's presence did for my life and how to go about honouring him from here on.

Kobe was an icon in basketball, a game I loved as a child and grew out of through my late teens. Kobe was the name we'd call out when we'd throw stuff in the trash can. We literally shouted "Kobe" - as we'd fade away. Our movements would try and be like this, and we would say things he said. Our time on and off the court talking through his games and his plays was how we would learn the game and how it's played.

Regardless of the game or the time, he was the one every player, coach, and fan would talk about as "the one who worked the hardest."

Coach used to run us into the ground. It was absolute hell and I remember it to this day. We'd be exhausted during 5 pm practice - after our 7 am practice and 1 pm weight-lifting. Still, after that in one day, we'd stand the line and run suicides until we puked. These are called three-a-days. Kobe was different. After our day we would listen and learn about what he did and feel ashamed. He did 5-a-days and loved the process of growth and improvements. Back then it made no sense to us. In total cliche, we'd always say: "how does he do it?"

Kobe Bryant was a guiding light for my work ethic on the days and nights I didn't want to go to practice or work hard on myself, my business, anything else. He still is.

Watching him play the game was mesmerizing; thinking of what he did to reach that level is inspiring. The training sessions were legendary - I'm sure it's something to do with why Kobe's a legend. He often attributed his own success; however, with the line: "because of 4:00 am"

Watching his acceptance speech at the ESPYs made me realize something unique after following most of his 20-year career. There's always more than that first dream. He went on to have one of the most successful careers in basketball; only to remind us that he is far from done.

His next dream is to inspire a new generation to fall in love with the journey, not just the dream, and at 4:00 am. Kobe was an avid businessman, investor, award-winning film-maker, book-creator. Think about that: this is his legacy in a few years off the court, while still a legendary basketball player and athlete. Tremendous.

How do we honour him now?

Kobe will go from being a man into being an idea. When I hear the word, Kobe, I think of working so hard it scares me. "Kobe" describes those with tremendous work ethic,  no bullshit character, and strategic insight. Few will understand how such people are capable of so much.

Kobe will be the peak of effort and strategy in one person. When you're "Kobe", you'll be at the level others feel scared to compete with. It's far beyond shouting Kobe through your fade-away, it's about being Kobe every day, in a new way, on and off the court

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I'm writing this at 5:00 am for instance. It's the earliest I've been up and started work since having to be up for practice this early. If we can all be a bit better as we consider what he did to achieve his greatness, I think he'd be happy to have had this impact on the new generation.

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The journey is what makes everything come true. Even more than our dreams. It's a line of his; moreover, it's a sign that his love for the journey likely helped him achieve more than he first dreamed. I hope you go on to read more about Kobe and find a way to feel inspired by his legacy.

My condolences to all.