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…