NBA --- The Kobe Memorial at Staples Center is gone but the sadness lingers (PHOTOS)
By Nicholai R. Roska
Thu, 06 Feb 2020
LOS ANGELES --- Quietly, in the dead of a dwindling Super Bowl Sunday night, the makeshift memorial that came to life around the Staples Center-L.A.Live campus was taken down to make way for contractually obligated events at the venues.
With loving and careful diligence, each of the thousands of non-perishable items (toys, jerseys basketballs etc) that fans left behind as a tribute to their fallen star were catalogued, most of which will be shipped to Kobe Bryant's widow, Vanessa Laine Bryant, who made the request.
In the days following the death of Kobe, his 13-year old daughter Gianna, and seven other passengers in a helicopter crash last week, the shrine became a vivid expression of the world's grief over the horrendous tragedy.
It's gone now. But the sadness lingers.
The text was short but jarring enough to bring friends Chad Noval, Ryann Gestopa and John Paul Maglasang together in communal sorrow. Lifelong Kobe fans since the 90’s and now based north of the border in Canada, frigid Detroit and sunny California, respectively, the trio reconnected and recalled their Kobe moments, recalling the times when they harbored the same affinity for collecting Kobe jerseys, sneakers during their youth.
Ryann made a heartfelt basketball confession :” I was really shocked when I got a call from from Chad in Canada, I haven’t heard from him in a long time...Kobe was kind of our hero growing up! We had to tell each that other friendships endures and will always remember the L.A. Laker icon for bringing us up together."
Grief is a cycle, tenacious in its intensity, searing in its pain. But it will eventually subside because time almost always heals what is broken.
Meanwhile, it is the fond memories and remembrances that will keep some emotions from completely falling apart.
Click here to view a list of other articles written by Nicholai R. Roska.
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