Why Kobe Bryant’s Death Matters

Martnehz
6 min readFeb 25, 2020

I’m not someone who watches sports. It’s not really for me. For someone who grew up always playing some type of team sport and lives as active a lifestyle as I, it does seem kind of odd that I usually have very little to say on the subject nowadays. Guess I was never *into* the consumption of sport. Just the production of it. Anyway.

But I was young once. And I’m not totally checked-out from the world.

What Kobe Bryant Left Behind

I remember Kobe Bryant growing up. He had a coolness and a flair and he seemed like a god on the basketball court. I drifted away from “sportball” and he got injured a few times & drifted away from the limelight.

Compared to the rest of America (& the world), I’m slightly an outlier to the normal experience of Kobe Bryant. I never met him and never witnessed first-hand his grounded & giving demeanor. I hadn’t followed his “Exeunt Stage Left” from the NBA. But I go to bars — where there are TVs — and as I’ve been watching the aftermath of the events of January 26th, it feels surreal to see what I’m seeing.

Not because I always thought that Kobe Bryant was going to be in my life. I didn’t.

Not because I lament the tragic circumstances surrounding the fateful helicopter ride. I mean… I do… but I don’t.

Not because I mourn the tragedy that the remaining Bryant clan is undergoing. I don’t.

Tragedy happens every day, and, despite the terribly avoidable variables involved in this what-seems-odd-to-even-call-accident, that’s not my guiding principle as I gaze around on a Friday night in the center of Houston, Texas.

Watching Their Faces

The wood-laden gastrobar charging $7 for craft beers is filled with a mostly-male Caucasian patrons & some female 3rd or 4th wheels. Their attentions are rapt by a Lakers game. Not the game necessarily but the procession that happened beforehand. The TVs’re on mute without captions, so the cut-aways from a semi-circular discussion table to archived Kobe footage is satisfying. The onslaught of footage seems like the last viewing at an open casket funeral. There’s a video played before the game starts. Boyz II Men sing something. Usher sings too. I see Lebron…

Martnehz

I do things. Huge nerd otherwise. Interested in all types of media & creative-ish forms of expressions. Rawr!!