few celebrities go by a single name alias- Beyonce, Ronaldo, Kobe. this is a rite of passage. not only does that signify the high status of the man but also the class of greatness he’s a part of and for much reason.

Kobe was a man of many ventures but most famous for being an all-time great (a God) basketball player. he’s won countless accolades including NBA Championships, MVP awards, Olympic Gold Medals, All-Star Appearances, etc. the guy’s a natural born winner and the winning doesn’t stop on the hardwood either. he’s won an Academy Award, authored a book, and even became a successful investor, but, still, it doesn’t end there.

the black mamba inspired many, including myself, to get our bums out there and be the best we can be. at least i saw it that way. at first i thought this concept only applied to basketball as he had displayed through the course of his decorated career. as i would later find out, this is a way of life. he showed us how basketball was just a metaphor for life and the grand scheme of things. the mamba mentality, not only the name of this book but a way of thinking. a movement- to get over your fears and go head first into what really drives you, into what you are devoted to and not slowing down through any and all challenges and hardships. to only improve and devour anything that gets in your way.

note to Kobe:

seeing you go has been one of the most (emotionally) painful experiences i have ever experienced. i’ve had many relatives and friends pass on but for some reason your transcendence has hit me the hardest. as if i really knew you. but yet, i don’t. i remember ‘hating’ you at one point because you were no longer just a flicker of light but a bright, shining star which everyone wanted to be like (and i didn’t want to be like everyone). because you kicked my Orlando Magic’s ass in the NBA Finals. because you were… Kobe. but i couldn’t really hate you. you were the reason. the reason why i started to watch and, eventually, love basketball and, as for me, basketball is life. growing up, i moved around from city to city to suburb and to many different schools, as you did, and, just like you, the one thing that remained a constant was basketball. basketball took me places, all three high schools i attended. basketball made me some friends (and family), like the kids who spoke spanish on the court not knowing i’m Dominican. basketball helped me cope with the many struggles life comes with, just like when i moved to the suburbs, away from all my childhood friends. without it, i don’t know what i would’ve done or how my life would be like. shit, i don’t even know who i am without it. without you, i wouldn’t have it. you have set a great example and i hope i can reciprocate one day. i hope that i can be half the man you were and make an impact on society as you did. you didn’t die. you have risen to take on new challenges and your spirit lives on here thru me as well as the millions you have touched and inspired.

thank you ❤