August 23, 1978 - January 26, 2020
At some point, Jeanie, you have to become Kahleesi. You've got to be the Mother of Dragons. You've got to claim what is rightfully yours and go for it.
She took full ownership of the Los Angeles Lakers from her brother, fired GM Mitch Kupchak, replaced him with Magic Johnson, and eventually signed LeBron James.
I probably had too much to drink the night before. So, I came in. I was a rookie. I felt good. And they could smell some alcohol on me, and Kobe informed the rest of the team that nobody was allowed to help me on defense and that I had to guard him the entire practice.
And I was laughing at first, like, “Oh, this is funny.” But in Kobe’s mind, in his eyes, it was like, “No. I see and smell weakness. I’m going to destroy you today.” And he taught me that lesson. He taught me that lesson. I mean, he probably scored 70-something in practice that day, and I’m begging for help. None of the teammates would help.
But his killer instinct and his work ethic, they’ll stick with me forever.
Thank you, Kobe.
We asked for your hustle. You gave us your heart.
Coming full circle. Kobe finds D’Angelo Russell and throws a consoling arm around him after the rookie’s overtime heroics fell just short, reenacting the scene between Shaq and Kobe during Bryant’s rookie season.
Dear Kobe Bryant,
I hate you.
Can you blame me? As a Celtics fan, I rooted against you for two decades. I rejoiced in your agony when my Celtics beat you in the 2008 Finals. Paul Pierce deserved it way more than you did. You already had three rings at the time.
But three just wasn’t enough for you. You got your revenge and ultimately your fifth ring in 2010 while ripping my heart out in the process. I hope you still know how lucky you are that Kendrick Perkins was out for Game 7.
I read your letter in the Players' Tribune today and was shocked. Not because you announced your retirement – we all already knew that. I was shocked because of the way your letter made me feel.
In my mind, I have always grouped you and Derek Jeter together. You are the players that we as Boston fans bitterly hate, but cannot help but respect. You played the game the right way – with passion, pride, and professionalism.
You were true students of the game who pursued greatness by working harder than anybody. You became generational icons of your respective sports. You embraced every challenge. You gave it your all. You put your bodies on the line. You knew how to win. You respected your sport, your craft, and your rivalry with Boston.
December 30 marks the last time that you will play in Boston. This is also the last opportunity for us Celtics fans to cheer our team to victory against arguably the most dominant player in the storied history of the Celtics and Lakers.
As you go, so goes what is left of the rivalry that once dominated the NBA. Perhaps someday it will be rekindled by new faces. Perhaps not.
So when you come to the Garden next month, I hope the crowd puts you through hell. I hope we heckle you and boo you more emphatically than we did in the championship bouts. I hope you miss every single free throw. I hope you never forget what it’s like to be surrounded by 17,000 screaming fans who bleed green and would give anything to watch you fail one last time.
I hope we beat LA once again. And when you get pulled from the lineup halfway through the fourth quarter when my Celtics are up by 20 points, I think something beautiful will happen.
Every single person in the Garden will stop booing. We will rise to our feet and show respect in the form of the loudest, most passionate standing ovation you have ever witnessed. We will chant your name. We will wipe our eyes. We will say our bittersweet farewells.
They say you never truly know what you got 'til it’s gone. So before you go, I just want to say thank you for being far more than just a great basketball player. To an entire generation of NBA fans, you are basketball.
I can’t believe I’m saying this… but I’m really going to miss you.
Love (and hate) you always,
A Celtics fan who didn’t appreciate you enough
From the moment
I started rolling my dad’s tube socks
And shooting imaginary
In the Great Western Forum
I knew one thing was real:
I fell in love with you.
A love so deep I gave you my all —
From my mind & body
To my spirit & soul.
As a six-year-old boy
Deeply in love with you
I never saw the end of the tunnel.
I only saw myself
Running out of one.
And so I ran.
I ran up and down every court
After every loose ball for you.
You asked for my hustle
I gave you my heart
Because it came with so much more.
I played through the sweat and hurt
Not because challenge called me
But because YOU called me.
I did everything for YOU
Because that’s what you do
When someone makes you feel as
Alive as you’ve made me feel.
You gave a six-year-old boy his Laker dream
And I’ll always love you for it.
But I can’t love you obsessively for much longer.
This season is all I have left to give.
My heart can take the pounding
My mind can handle the grind
But my body knows it’s time to say goodbye.
And that’s OK.
I’m ready to let you go.
I want you to know now
So we both can savor every moment we have left together.
The good and the bad.
We have given each other
All that we have.
- And we both know, no matter what I do next
- I’ll always be that kid
- With the rolled up socks
- Garbage can in the corner
- 05 seconds on the clock
Ball in my hands.
5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1
Love you always,