It is beginning to sink in.
Kobe Bryant’s death this morning in a fiery helicopter crash — along with the demise of his young daughter and seven other people — has brought tears to the eyes of grown men.
They are crying over the memory of Bryant’s remarkable basketball skills, which elevated him to “legend” status over a 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Although I appreciate the amazing talent he exhibited for virtually all that span of time, I was not a giant Kobe fan. I have cheered other contemporary NBA stars more fervently.
Kobe Bryant’s death saddens me nonetheless.
What is sinking in, though, as I listen to commentators offer various perspectives on this young man is the sense of a future realm of greatness that was yet to be built.
I have heard most of the evening about all the projects he intended to pursue. They involved his daughter Gianna’s desire to be a pro basketball player. Gianna, tragically, was among the victims in that helicopter crash. His projects involved working with inner-city youth to show them the path out of despair. Bryant wanted to parlay his good name to do good for others.
Bryant played his last pro season in 2016, just three seasons ago. He won his share of pro basketball championships; he won many individual honors; he achieved all he could possibly could during a career that began straight out of high school, as he chose to forgo a college education before getting paid big money to play pro basketball.
However, I am feeling increasingly saddened by the loss over this great athlete’s accomplishments not yet achieved.
So very tragic.