Sunday, April 5, 2020


What I learned from the Mamba.

February 17, 2020 by  
Filed under Ent., Music, News, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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(ThyBlackMan.com) It’s been a little over two weeks since Kobe Bryant passed and here’s what I’ve learned; Kobe was deified in some circles. Not just for his ability to play basketball but his attitude, work ethic and commitment to being the best. He was equally as human as he appeared to be superhuman. He retired from basketball and committed to being a father and man the same way he committed to being the best on the court. He had already won an academy award for his short film Dear Basketball as an executive producer. We frequently saw him courtside with his daughter Gianna at games and even became a meme after a clip of him speaking to her went viral.

Personally I’m hurt. I expected to watch Kobe twenty years from now receiving a lifetime achievement award for his exploits in his post basketball career. As a father my heart hurts for him and his family. I’ve experienced watching my own child hurt and there being nothing I could do about it but hold them and tell them it’ll be okay when you don’t know if you’re being honest with them. That fear and trepidation is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before and I’ve almost died twice. So, as a father to know it’s the final moments of not only your life but your child’s, there are no words for that.

Here are the words I do have for all of us who have mourned or are still mourning, be grateful. Today was not promised. Tomorrow isn’t either. Yesterday has come and gone and as we close this day out and prepare for the ones to follow, have we done all we can? I encourage everyone reading this to not only have the “Mamba Mentality” but to understand that it’s more than just a mentality, it’s a lifestyle. Kobe made a decision to not only be the best at basketball but took that approach in life. If you’re a parent be the best parent you can be. If you’re an athlete be the best athlete you can be. If you’re a creator commit yourself to your craft and whatever you create let it be your masterpiece at that moment.

Many times things are not appreciated till the person that created them is gone. It’s perceived to be cliche to say “give them their roses while they’re here” but in all honesty we should. We’ve all experienced loss in our lives and maybe we have regrets but today is our chance to let those regrets go and an opportunity to not create any more.

I often quote the line from the film “The Help” where actress Viola Davis’ character Aibileen tells the child Mae Mobley “you is kind, you is smart, you is important.” Normally I do it as a joke to a friend when they’re going through something to help break the tension and negative feelings so we can discuss, regroup and move forward. Recently I’ve had to say those words to myself because I don’t think I’ve actually accepted how Kobe’s passing not necessarily affected me but has brought up feelings I’ve avoided dealing with.

I hope that we can look at the life Kobe led and take something from it to help improve not only our lives but the lives of those around us. A quote I personally love from him is “Use your success, wealth and influence to put them in the best position to realize their own dreams and find their true purpose.”

R.I.P. Kobe “Bean” Bryant 

Staff Writer; Martin Denesse


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