By: Nick Galle
January 26, 2020.
It will be a date you never forget. A date that you might never want to remember. A date that will be forever ingrained in history.
I feel like the best way to address stories like this is from a human perspective. Most outlets try to cover stories like this as news. They try to make the story fit a certain style, give the facts, and use no emotion.
That is all well and good, and it’s what good journalism is, but with a story like this, how can you not feel any emotion?
This one might not be a news story then. I think it needs to told with emotion.
When I heard the news that Kobe Bryant was dead, it was the first time in my life where I genuinely have not been able to register information. I stood up and just started fidgeting around. My body did not know what to do, how to react. Those three words, “Kobe Bryant dead,” do not fit together in the same sentence. They just don’t.
TMZ broke the story first, and I was certainly skeptical. I did some digging around and found that no other news outlets had information on the story. Had to be a hoax, right?
Sure enough, 15 minutes later, ABC reports came out that Kobe Bryant had died in a helicopter crash.
Typing these words now still makes no sense in my own mind. It is simply unfathomable.
I would shout his name when I threw away a piece of scrap paper in the third grade. I would root against him when he came into Boston to face the Celtics. My friends would wear his jersey out on the basketball court for pickup games.
The man had found his way into so many small facets of my life, and now he is gone?
Like so many others, I am still trying to make sense of all of this and honestly, it might take some time. Kobe was more than a basketball player and person. He was a part of my childhood. He was a small part of our childhood. He was a reason I fell in love with sports. He was a reason why I am writing about sports today.
Not to mention, those are just the ways that Kobe Bryant impacted me, a 20-year-old college student from Massachusetts. My story is just one of millions.
Kobe had an impact on so many. That impacted varied in size depending on who you were and where you grew up, but regardless, that impact was there.
The world truly is not the same anymore. It just isn’t. No matter how you felt about him, you cannot ignore the void that has been left in society.
Outdoors seems quieter, indoors seems lonelier, and the thoughts inside our minds are all over the place. Things are different now. They just are.
With the death of his daughter, along with seven others, this is not only a national tragedy, but a global one. One that we as people should never forget.
One of the great influences and role models of the century was taken from us far too soon. Families were dismantled. Futures were cut short.
So, there will come a day – a day where you hear your kid dribbling the basketball in the driveway. The dribbling will stop and you will see them approaching you with a puzzled look on their face with a question for you.
“Do you remember Kobe Bryant?”
Yes you do. You always will. And the world will too.
Cover photo via: Christian Petersen/Getty Images
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