Why do celebrity deaths stop us in our tracks and shock us so deeply?
Kobe Bryant is dead. It feels like a sick joke to type those words, but it’s much worse than a sick joke. It’s real.
I have an old but powerful memory that’s making it feel unreal.
In 1997, I ran a 2-on-2 basketball tournament where the winners’ prize was to meet Kobe and take a few shots with him during his off-season tour of Australia. The event with Kobe was held in a small high school gym in the inner city of Sydney. Probably 40-50 people were there on the day, and maybe 6 or 8 people had the chance to play against him for various reasons. We all figured Kobe would glide in, fulfil his obligations, smile for a promotional photo, and glide out again as quickly as possible.
But we didn’t know Kobe. Continue reading