Dear Kobe, Thank You For Your Legacy

Dear Kobe,

Man, I miss you. I miss counting down the minutes until the Lakers were about to play and watching you warm up on the court. I miss begging my dad to get Lakers tickets, and feeling that rush of excitement when I stepped foot into the Staples Center. I miss watching your games and raving about them to my friends. I miss watching your plays over and over, admiring your ability to do the impossible. I miss you. 

Kobe, thank you. Thank you for bringing people together. Whether it be a watch party or a debate over the better team, you made sports more than just a game. Basketball is not just a ball being thrown into a net. Sports are a glue. And within this world of sports, the world of basketball, you were the spark. You made kids believe in themselves more than they ever thought possible. You were the spark that brought friends and family together behind the TV, rooting you on seconds to the buzzer. You made us believe in the impossible; it was you. It is still you. It will always be you. 

You were the magic that made kids like me believe in the impossible. Now, it is our job to keep the magic alive. We will. I promise. 

I wake up each morning still in disbelief. You are no longer with us. I will never see you sitting court side with Gigi cheering on the Lakers as they take every game by storm. I will never see you as a guest on a talk show or giving a speech for another award you were definitely going to win. I will never see you sharing your wisdom both off and on the court. You left us too soon. 

I have never quite felt this sense of emptiness before. I have never seen so many people collectively hurt over someone they have never met. I have never felt such an overpowering feeling of loss for so long. It is a nightmare. 

I never thought holding a basketball or watching an iconic Laker play would trigger tears as they now do. I never thought I'd rush to turn on ESPN to see a Kobe Bryant Tribute and tears uncontrollably running down my face. This day came too soon. 

Kobe, I promise we will hold on to your legacy and everything you stood for. Mamba Mentality forever. We will not give up. 

Thank you for everything. We love you. 

Rest in peace.