I can tell you what episode of Friends I was watching when I learned that my mother had died. But I can also tell you that I was floating in my grandmother’s swimming pool when I heard about Princess Diana. And I know that I was waiting for a table at a California Pizza Kitchen when the news of Michael Jackson’s death broke.
I was at book club on Sunday when I heard about Kobe Bryant. I’ve never even watched an NBA game, but if you ask me 10 years from now where I was when I learned about the…
When basketball legend Kobe Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash along with his daughter and seven other passengers, the international outpouring of grief was swift and passionate.
Bryant was many things to many people. He was an 18-time NBA All-Star with five championships and two Olympic gold medals. He was a businessman, a philanthropist, a father of four.
He was also charged with sexual assault in 2003. The case against him was dropped after his accuser refused to testify, but a civil suit was settled out of court, and Bryant later issued a public apology.
“There’s nothing really special about Kobe,” longtime Lakers head trainer Gary Vitti once said on the Legends of Sports podcast.
He was talking about the fact that Kobe Bryant was big, but not that big. He was quick, but not that quick. And he was powerful, but not the most powerful player that coaches had ever seen.
“I mean, there were other players that had more talent than he did, so what was there about him that more talented players had zero rings and he ended up with five?” Vitti asked.
That answer becomes clear in the flood of stories…