“Kobe Bryant dead? That can’t be." Kobe Bryant’s death affected those people who knew him when he was a kid differently than it affected anyone else. It's not that Kobe’s Lakers teammates or his friends from the NBA weren’t profoundly saddened by his death but the connection between Kobe and people like Jeremy Treatman and his high school coach Gregg Downer and his classmates and teammates from Lower Merion High School was something else entirely.
With two years of distance from his death, we can see more clearly what we ought to take away from Kobe's life and his career. We see the value of passion. And determination. And an unwavering belief in yourself. We see his singular and blinkered focus on becoming the best — and his resolute willingness to work as hard and as long as he needed to to achieve it. We see how the people around him fostered and encouraged that focus. And we see the cost of that focus: the entitlement, the self-centeredness. And we see that that cost can be steep.
We see, most of all, the everlasting effect that Kobe Bryant had and still has, on the people who knew him. For them, he’ll never really be gone. He’ll always be there: his scowl, his smile, his breathtaking talent, his relentless desire and tireless will, the kid he had been, the man he was becoming. Forever.
Purchase Mike Sielski's related book: “The Rise: Kobe Bryant and the Pursuit of Immortality": TheRiseOfKobeBook.com
Join the conversation about “I Am Kobe” on social media: on Twitter and Instagram: @diversionpods
Our theme music is “Create Yourself” by Grover Braam feat. Justin Starling: Listen to Create Yourself on Spotify
Cover photo © Eileen Blass – USA TODAY NETWORK
“I Am Kobe” is a production of Diversion Podcasts in association with iHeartRadio. This season is written and hosted by Mike Sielski. Produced by Jacob Bronstein and directed by Mark Francis. Story editing by Jacob Bronstein with editorial direction from Scott Waxman. Editing, mixing, and sound design by Mark Francis. Production Assistant: Stephen Tompkins. Music Supervisor: Scott Velasquez for Frisson Sync. Executive Producers: Mark Francis and Scott Waxman.
Thanks to Oren Rosenbaum, Susan Canavan, and Jeremy Treatman.
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