Riposi in Pace

It’s been one month since you left this earth, & I still can’t believe what’s happened. It was only four years ago that I was bidding farewell to you as a professional basketball player. Now I’m saying “Rest in Peace,” & the words don’t feel right coming out of my mouth. I know I’m not alone because every day I see social media posts about the shock & deep sadness that is still being felt around the world. You inspired actors, announcers, artists, authors, baseball players, basketball players, chefs, coaches, comedians, commentators, dancers, directors, fashion designers, figure skaters, football players, golfers, gymnasts, hockey players, hosts, influencers, journalists & reporters, MMA fighters, music artists, soccer players, tennis players, volleyball players, wrestlers, youtubers, etc. Mamba Mentality transcended a team, a sport, a city, a state, a country. That is a rarity, a feat that deserves every bit of recognition it receives.

I truly cannot put into words what you’ve meant to me. I was two years old when Charlotte drafted you in 1996, six years old when you won your first ring with the Lakers in 2000, and sixteen for your fifth & final championship in 2010. I cheered you on until my voice gave out. I went toe to toe with grown men, fighting on your behalf. You weren’t perfect, & I never defended you as such. That’s what made you human! Watching you take responsibility & right your wrongs further solidified my respect for you.

It breaks my heart that in the weeks leading up to the helicopter crash, I told my brother that I thought Gianna was going to be a huge asset to women’s basketball. She would’ve carried the Mamba torch with strength & grace, fire & ice. I know how much your girls meant to you & you to them. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about your family & what they’re enduring. I’m feeling pain & emptiness as a fan, but that’s nothing compared to the loss felt by your wife, daughters, parents, & sisters. From my heart to theirs, I’m sending love & all the prayers I can muster.

💜 Purple & gold is forever. Our family loyalty runs deep & lasts to the very end. We will continue the Mamba legacy & leave absolutely everything on the court wherever we go. Let’s get out there with Mamba Mentality and make Gigi & Kobe proud! 💛

🐍 2️⃣ 🐍 8️⃣ 🐍 2️⃣4️⃣ 🐍 2️⃣ 🐍 8️⃣ 🐍 2️⃣4️⃣ 🐍 2️⃣ 🐍 8️⃣ 🐍 2️⃣4️⃣ 🐍 2️⃣ 🐍 8️⃣ 🐍 2️⃣4️⃣ 🐍

🏀   M A M B A   O U T   B U T   N E V E R   F O R G O T T E N   🏀

🐍 2️⃣ 🐍 8️⃣ 🐍 2️⃣4️⃣ 🐍 2️⃣ 🐍 8️⃣ 🐍 2️⃣4️⃣ 🐍 2️⃣ 🐍 8️⃣ 🐍 2️⃣4️⃣ 🐍 2️⃣ 🐍 8️⃣ 🐍 2️⃣4️⃣ 🐍

🍃 “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.”  Psalm 23:4 🌿

⛅️ Rest in Peace:

🌟 Ara Zobayan 🌟

🌟 Gianna & Kobe Bryant 🌟

🌟 Alyssa, John, & Keri Altobelli 🌟

🌟 Payton & Sarah Chester 🌟

🌟 Christina Mauser 🌟

• Fund supporting the Altobelli, Chester, Mauser, & Zorbayan families – Mamba on Three 

• Fund supporting the Mamba Sports Academy – Mamba Sports Foundation

Collage:

Bereswill, Paul. 2019. https://www.newsweek.com/jimmy-fallon-tribute-kobe-bryant-tearful-1484313. Accessed 30 January 2020. ( Top Left )

Bryant, Kobe. 2019. https://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-moms/pictures/kobe-bryants-close-bond-with-daughter-gianna-photos/common-interests/. Accessed 30 January 2020. ( Top Middle )

Berezovsky, Allen. 2019. https://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/pictures-these-are-the-victims-in-the-kobe-bryant-helicopter-crash/2299204/. Accessed 30 January 2020. ( Top Right )

Martinez, Ronald. 2009. https://www.vcstar.com/story/sports/nba/lakers/2020/01/29/vanessa-bryant-changes-instagram-profile-photo-kobe-gianna/4612863002/. Accessed 30 January 2020. ( Middle Left )

Elsa. 2016. https://people.com/sports/vanessa-bryant-changes-profile-photo-kobe-and-gianna-hugging/. Accessed 30 January 2020. ( Middle )

Berezovsky, Allen. 2019. https://www.billboard.com/articles/news/8549617/vanessa-bryant-social-media-post-kobe-gigi. Accessed 30 January 2020. ( Middle Right )

Getty. 2018. https://www.latimes.com/sports/lakers/story/2020-01-26/kobe-bryant-daughter-gianna-basketball-crash-death. Accessed 30 January 2020. ( Bottom Left )

Bryant, Kobe. 2019. https://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-news/news/how-gianna-bryant-was-remembered-by-uconn-womens-basketball-team/. Accessed 30 January 2020. ( Bottom Middle )

Shutterstock. 2012. https://nypost.com/2020/01/28/kobe-bryants-love-of-being-girl-dad-inspires-fathers-to-share-their-stories/. Accessed 30 January 2020. ( Bottom Right )

Mamba Out

I know I blogged about Kobe Bryant yesterday, but I couldn’t stay silent after the performance he put on last night.  Jack Nicholson predicted 40 points.  Shaq asked for 50.  I would have been satisfied with an average performance knowing that his body could only handle so much.  The team gave him the floor and allowed him to take as many shots as he could.  Surpassing all expectations, the Black mamba scored 60 and led his team to victory one last time.  Fans would’ve accepted the bare minimum, but Kobe delivered a vintage performance, turning back the clock and refusing to go out on a low note.  When the game ended, thousands of people screamed his name while he embraced coaches and teammates on the court.  It felt like my childhood was replaying before my eyes: Brian Shaw, Derek Fisher, Devean George, Gary Payton, Lamar Odom, Rick Fox, Robert Horry, Shaq, and many more.  Even Adam Morrison made an appearance!!  More basketball players, coaches, and celebrities paid tribute through video.

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zk_j4drvDNw

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SX6PvEMAvtA

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EzpsyFvz7W0

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6ZOdXrV2sM

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FKooZs-Pwg

🏀 Art inspired by Kobe – Kobe Bryant

🏀 My thoughts on Kobe retiring – Kobe Bryant | Black Mamba

The entire night was emotional and overwhelming, but I wouldn’t change any of it.  A storybook ending for Kobe Bryant’s untouchable 20-year career.  The game of basketball will never be the same. 🏀 🐍

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– Lauren Michele <3

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Kobe Bryant | Black Mamba

🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀

• April 13, 2016

I was born in 1993.  Kobe Bryant’s NBA career started in 1996.  I was privileged to grow up watching the Black Mamba play basketball and achieve success wherever he went.  It was hard to find admirers of Kobe outside the L.A. circle therefore I found myself defending him more times than not.  I didn’t need to do that, but I wanted to because I felt the hate was mean spirited and over the top.  Despite all the doubters and haters, Kobe and his fans have reached the light at the end of the tunnel.  The Black Mamba’s 20-year career is coming to a close, and no one has anything negative to say.  People from all over the world are sharing how much they respect him.  That speaks volumes about the man and player he has become.  I’ve watched him evolve from arrogant kid to fierce competitor, strong leader to humble legend.  I cheered him on through highs and lows and never once gave up.  Words cannot describe my admiration and respect.  It is very hard to let go because his career coincides with 20 years of my life (I’m only 22!).  But, I know he’s in pain and ready to move on.  I wish he and his family nothing but the best.  God bless you Kobe Bryant!  Thank you for your contribution to the game of basketball.

🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀

🏀 2008 NBA MVP 🏀

🏀 NBA Slam Dunk Champion 🏀

🏀 2x NBA Finals MVP 🏀

🏀 2x NBA Scoring Champion 🏀

🏀 4x All-Star MVP 🏀

🏀 5x NBA Champion 🏀

🏀 18x All-Star 🏀

🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀

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Source: http://www.nba.com/lakers/KobeJerseys

🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀

Art Inspired by Kobe Bryant: Kobe Bryant

🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀

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– Lauren Michele <3

Previous Post: Farewell American Idol

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