My first memories of Kobe Bryant happened to be with my father

Mamba Out

Adonis Richards


Kobe was his favorite player. I remember regular Saturdays and weekday evenings where I would sit with him during his free time and watch him play his NBA game on his PlayStation.

Image credit — Joakim Honkasalo — Unsplash

These were possibly the most momentous times of my early life. I couldn’t tell you the exact game it was, but I do remember that he would always use Kobe. I would fall in love with the sounds of the announcers and the premature onomatopoeia that comes with a 90’s basketball game. I would study the nuances and try myself when he wasn’t watching. Learning, experiencing the game as I bonded with my Father.

As a young child, learning the game came from this interaction with my father. These gave me my first thoughts of this game I grew to love today. It’s Ironic to me that my first impressions of Kobe and my last impressions of Kobe would be through fatherhood. Me bonding with my father as he played his NBA games. And for Kobe, his bonding with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna as he began to develop and evolve her love for the game of basketball. It’s a wonderful feel-good story in my eyes that sums up what Kobe Bryant truly meant as a person. A genuine, heartfelt man with a passion unmatched. A true father that was able to pass on his passion to his children.

Though my memory was shot, I do recall seeing the elation on my father’s face when Kobe won his first title. You remember when Kobe took over that game when Shaq fouled out? How poised yet electrifying he was in those clutch moments taking over the game? I don’t remember much of it. However, now looking back on that tape you could see a young hungry boy become a man in that 2000 Indiana series. He came far from the boy who air-balled those jump shots in that 1997 Utah series.

This is the Kobe Bryant I remember. The Fervor to win. The confidence, even when he wasn’t ready for the moment, he was willing to find out. I remember Kobe being willing to fall forward in order to achieve. I reminisce on a man who’s sheer…