This is one of those days that doesn't process because it's so hard to fathom what just transpired.
Kobe, you were my inspiration in my formative years. Growing up as a Southern California kid, I wore your Lower Merion jersey that I still keep to this very day. I patterned my game after you. I was fortunate to witness the greatest moments of your career as a devoted fan. I watched you score 81 against Toronto at the Staples Center. Last year, I crossed paths with you and your daughters in Newport Beach and gave you a bow to acknowledge everything you've done, and you did the same as a sign of respect for not bothering you. I will always remember that moment.
Aside from all of that, I wanted to thank you for giving me the courage to keep going forward and making Blast Burn. In the MUSE documentary I watched over and over again in 2018, you spoke about how you could not forgive yourself after your wife's miscarriage during the events of the rape trial. Falling further from grace, everyone turned against you and it seemed that no one had your back when you needed it the most. Everything you went through was everything that I went through back in 2018, but times a million. If you could bounce back from that fall and continue to persevere, then what was my excuse? From that point on, every second of time was devoted either to your craft or to your family, and that's when I knew you were for real. I vow to continue putting the Mamba Mentality into everything I do, whether it's for my art or for my family.
These losses are a teaching moment. Moments like these that bring the world together in mourning and it teaches us to value our loved ones because tomorrow is never promised. The world lost not only one of the greatest competitors in sports, but also one of its creative visionaries.
Rest In Peace Kobe and Gianna.