Philippines, 07 Apr 2020
  Home >> News

 


BOXERS

CURRENT CHAMPIONS 

FORMER CHAMPIONS   

RATINGS                       

NEWS           

FORUM        

FIGHT GALLERIES        

RING CARD GIRLS        




 
 
News  


Second Overtime: Thanks for all the memories, Kobe


PhilBoxing.com




CHICAGO -- My friendship with Kobe Bryant was neither personal nor familial. It was professional, one confined in the workplace of an NBA galaxy where he was a shining bright star and I was an afterthought.

I first saw him in the 2001 NBA Finals, which I covered. I wasn't a fan of his style back then. Too much self and a lot less team.

But as he grew his game through the years, morphing into a leader who willed his team to victories while making others around him better, I happily surrendered my allegiance.

Although I've watched him play several times in the flesh throughout his magnificent 20-year NBA career, I didn't speak to him until after five years since I first laid eyes on the wunderkind.

Being around Kobe inside a locker room always muted my voice with awe and intimidation.

But that changed last December 19, 2006. It was a Wednesday night and the Lakers were in my Chicago stomping grounds playing the Bulls at the United Center. Being in my home city washed me with confidence as I walked inside the visitors' locker room.

Just moments before entering sacred space, I watched him in action from my assigned seat 6 at the press box on section 115. He struggled and hit just 6-of-19 shots for a pedestrian 19 points, but he still mesmerized an entire stadium for simply being Kobe Bryant.

The Lakers locker was teeming with people when I got there, Small pockets of reporters surrounded players who were available for interviews. Luke Walton was alone and I interviewed him a little, kind of a warm up routine.

And then Kobe emerged, And I was suddenly on fire.

Nervous. Anxious. Incredulous.

Like an errant Catholic, who reluctantly, almost tearfully, confesses his sins to a sympathetic priest, I somehow managed to talk to Kobe. And he turned out to be so nice, so much so that he obliged me with a photo op and signed my press pass for the game that I attended in Los Angeles where he dropped 81 points just 11 months before.



After that initial meeting I've since spoken to Kobe several times. And if you have a good pair of eyes, you'll see some of those encounters documented through photographs in this column.

I spoke to him for the last time on January 28, 2016 when he made his final visit at the United Center.

Just like many of you, I am stunned with his sudden, painful demise.

Life is so unfair. And I am angry.

For years Kobe Bryant has given us so much joy on the basketball court and now that he is retired, we were robbed of the opportunity to root for him as a father, a husband, an entrepreneur and a fierce advocate for women's sports.

An old saying goes: "Death never surprises a wise man; he's always ready to go."

That doesn't apply to Kobe. A hero to millions, immensely gifted, wise beyond his 41 years. He was supposed to live forever.

Taken to soon, Too young. Too many tasks undone.

It's been three days since cruel fate took him, but I already miss Kobe Bryant.

Thanks for all the memories, Black Mamba.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Homer D. Sayson.


Recent PhilBoxing.com In-House articles:

  • TUESDAY: ESPN2 to Air Seven Hours of Classic Heavyweight Fights
    , Tue, 07 Apr 2020
  • PREMIER BOXING CHAMPIONS PUNCHES OUT BOREDOM!
    , Tue, 07 Apr 2020
  • Vasiliy Lomachenko on Teofimo Lopez: “He Holds My Belt”
    , Tue, 07 Apr 2020
  • SHOWTIME SPORTS® TO PRESENT SHOWTIME BOXING CLASSICS, INCLUDING THREE FIGHT OF THE YEAR WINNERS, BEGINNING APRIL 10 ON SHOWTIME®
    , Tue, 07 Apr 2020
  • UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL WITH 10 TIME WORLD KICKBOXING CHAMPION CAITLIN FORAN AHEAD OF HER PRO BOXING DEBUT
    , Tue, 07 Apr 2020
  • 2020 And Philippine Boxing: Could This Be The Year That They Thrive?
    , Tue, 07 Apr 2020
  • Remembering PH Boxing's Unsung Heroes: Part 5 of 5 Featuring Leo Espinosa
    By Teodoro Medina Reynoso, , Tue, 07 Apr 2020
  • Column: Pacquiao, Raquinel, Zulueta, Magsayo and More. A Look at Filipino Boxers in the WBA World Rankings
    By Carlos Costa, , Mon, 06 Apr 2020
  • STORY OF PHILIPPINE BOXING PART VII: LITTLE DADO, WORLD FLYWEIGHT AND BANTAMWEIGHT CHAMPION
    By Maloney L. Samaco, , Mon, 06 Apr 2020
  • Dandel Fernandez breaks 2000 barrier, earns AGM title
    By Marlon Bernardino, , Mon, 06 Apr 2020
  • SUPERB ROBINSON STOPS WRIGHT IN THE 6TH TO TAKE CLAIM EALI TROPHY
    , Mon, 06 Apr 2020
  • Dentist Alfredo "Fred" Paez eyes Arena Grandmaster Title
    By Marlon Bernardino, , Mon, 06 Apr 2020
  • SENSATIONAL WRIGHT BLASTS MONZON IN 8 TO FACE ROBINSON IN EWBSS DECIDER
    , Sun, 05 Apr 2020
  • STORY OF PHILIPPINE BOXING PART VI: SMALL MONTANA, ONE OF THE BEST TEN FILIPINO BOXERS BY ESPN
    By Maloney L. Samaco, , Sun, 05 Apr 2020
  • EWRIGHT-EMONZON PREVIEW: WILL WRIGHT TOO BE ALL WRONG FOR MONZON?
    , Sun, 05 Apr 2020
  • Impact Boxing plans to give back with free boxing event
    , Sun, 05 Apr 2020
  • STORY OF PHILIPPINE BOXING PART V: CEFERINO GARCIA, THE FIRST ASIAN WORLD MIDDLEWEIGHT CHAMPION
    By Maloney L. Samaco, , Sat, 04 Apr 2020
  • GAB begs for poor boxers
    By Recah Trinidad, , Sat, 04 Apr 2020
  • Remembering PH Boxing's Unsung Heroes: Part 4: Featuring Dommy Ursua
    By Teodoro Medina Reynoso, , Sat, 04 Apr 2020
  • IM Daniel Quizon rules 1st All Dasmarinas Online Chess Tournament
    By Marlon Bernardino, , Sat, 04 Apr 2020
  • Introducing Super Featherweight Jordan "Shortdog" White
    , Sat, 04 Apr 2020
  • ROBINSON KO’S LAMOTTA IN THE 7TH TO PROGRESS TO SUNDAY’S EWBSS FINAL
    , Sat, 04 Apr 2020
  • Top Heavyweight Contender Otto Wallin Featured in Salita Promotions’ Latest Episode of YouTube Series ‘Train Like a Boxer’
    , Sat, 04 Apr 2020
  • MONZON BEATS LAMOTTA IN DRAMA TO SET-UP 'WINKY' WRIGHT EWBSS SEMI-FINAL
    , Fri, 03 Apr 2020
  • South Central LA to Gold 1984 Olympic heavyweight champion Henry Tillman
    , Fri, 03 Apr 2020




  •  




     
    PhilBoxing.com has been created to support every aspiring
    Filipino boxer and the Philippine boxing scene in general.
    Please send comments to feedback@philboxing.com


    PRIVATE POLICY | LEGAL DISCLAIMER
    developed and maintained by dong secuya
    © 2020 philboxing.com.