I didn’t know him personally.
I didn’t really follow his career.
I’m not sure I ever even saw him in person.
Yet he was close to my heart, dear to me.
And my heart aches with surprising pains.
He was a constant in my life.
And constancy is wonderful in a world of ups and downs.
Kind of like the Eiffel Tower, or Canada – whether I visit them or not, I can always know that they are there, being the lovely things that they are, and people will share with me about them from time to time, their names popping round regularly, as though just to say, “Hi.”
That’s he he has been in my life.
As my dad pointed out, he was an up and coming name when I was first beginning to know and understand the existence of professional sports and the NBA…, so he really has been a constant for almost my entire life.
No, he wasn’t quite to the level of constancy as Hakeem Olajuwon or Michael Jordan or Shaquille O’Neal, but he arrived to the scene only shortly after I had learned to love them, and so he holds a similar place in my life.
Like I said, he has been a constant for me.
He simultaneously seems so old, because he had already retired from playing a few years ago (2016?), yet so young, because he is only 41 years old (I believe he was drafted at only 18 years old).
His story has been magical, and his playing was beautiful.
And, just saying, his smile has always been spectacular.
God, thank you for the glorious gift that has been Kobe Bryant to our world.
Thank you for all you’ve done, Mr. Kobe Bryant.