All Kobe Memorial
Across my lifetime in sports across my lifetime in journalism across my lifetime in America it is genuinely hard to remember a day ever feeling the way yesterday did the shock still processing when the anchor of grief suddenly arrived. What do you mean Kobe? Brian is dead. The thudding finality of that can't be right. The reporting must be wrong. Where can I put my anger and disbelief and sorrow and Oh my God is young daughter was on that helicopter to life comes comes at you fast but death can arrive even faster and so it did yesterday and I reacted the way a lot of you did by stopping what I was doing and calling some people I care about to to remind them that I love them brutal and cruel? The news of Kobe death swept across America connecting so many of us in morning echoing beyond sports in the same anyway. John Lennon's death did be on music. No no no. Kobe Bryant was supposed to be an eternal American symbol for life. That usually gets to live forever in sports. That's it's not supposed to be extinguished in a flash pushes even something as large as the super bowl off to the side. Kobe ruled bigger stronger. Faster with the kind of will you you only find in superheroes famous for greedy competitive desire in a way rivaled only by Michael Jordan and his world. He wasn't a superhero of course as became so clear earlier in Colorado. His family lives seem to fall apart in public after he betrayed his wife but the family and marriage and love seemed to endure and he'll to turn him in his forties into the public portrait of a family man. The father died helicoptering his teenage daughter to her basketball game his life still revolving around. I'm that ball at the very end. But through the excellence and the heirs we actually got to watch. Colby grow up right before our eyes sports fans did from teenager to legend getting so big he could even push giant like shock out of town and win another championship without him making the entertainment capital of Los Angeles forever. His artist a sculptor. He seemed to genuinely love tending to his craft as much as we enjoyed watching him do it and the size of his excellence was such that his death arrived not a day removed from Lebron James. The king being ought to have finally passed cobaine career scoring by the time Lebron touchdown Sunday and what will always be Kobe city. The king was sobbing on the tarmac surrounded by a sport and stunned storrow because immortals aren't ever supposed to feel quite this mortal from day to day and game the game across decades like deposits in a bank accruing interest. Kobe made us feel and feel deeply. Joy Or fury love Verhaeghe depending on which colors were painted on your face but either way extracting from fans and foes alike the kind of respect. His greatness bullied even from the begrudging the kind of respect that morphs into adoration for the most champion of champion legends as we watch them grow old and get years to remember member and Romance Those scrapbook memories. The elite who conquer bigger stronger faster like Kobe usually get to be like living saint in the world old of sports when they arrive at Kobe's age walking slowly in retirement toward the hall of fame. And we're all supposed to get to see them making that slow walk from young to who old so that we can cling to the memories and applaud them all over again the perspective and that kind of aging the mortality in it for even our Bravest Sport Ford soldiers is supposed to arrive slowly taking. Its sweet time. It's supposed to be a genuflection. We make out of appreciation and admiration by choice. Not because the weight of the grief arrived so suddenly that it forces all of us to our knees. Welcome to highly questionable. We're going to handle handle the show a little bit differently today. Money Jones Dominic Foxworth. They're with us here. We're going to remember. Kobe Bryant the happier times with Kobe Bryant. But let me start with you. You are basketball and beyond. Can you put him into perspective for us. Because you're very good with historical perspective. Yeah see two things for me has been taken perspective of Him His Co. graduated from high school the year before I did right and so like observing. His career is interesting because the twenty or twenty one year old. That infuriated me when I was just a year or two to younger than that I look at that a little bit differently now. Like through the Vision Hindsight and the thing is we grew up with this dude in a way that we didn't even grow up with Lebron. Kobe was being position position to be a teen idol. When this all started we knew who we went to the problem with? He winds up with the Lakers. Where we'd be looking all the time anyway and we saw the struggles of growth in the ambition and and everything else that happens so for me when I go back and look at this A? It's stunning the someone that's basically my age has just gone way that we've lost him but we don't really have much of a cop for a guy That was in the lead for long enough to have a rise a fall a rise and then you could argue another fall to then. Now get to this place where he's older and he's kind of rising. Think again as an elder statesman so the boy king has now become the old head and we didn't get a chance to see where this is going to go. Dominique you found a Kobe's post career to be fascinating is somebody who was CFO for the NBA and the NFL Players Union. His Post career. What did you find interesting about it? And I think transition position for anybody. It's tough but I'd say unique position of being as a former athlete while I'm certainly not compare my career to Kobe's when I got out of professional sports I found myself a little loss and go in a business school where you think you can find a new place to to kind of concentrate. All his energy and Kobe seemed to do it in an effortless way. That made me impressed. I think we'll Monte said earlier about watching him transition and early in his career rise and fall and rise and fall. I don't think that resonated with me at the time because I wasn't going through those things and I couldn't relate but I can look at the way that he transitioned to Academy Award winner in Girls Basketball Coach and see how much joy he found in that and recognize that that might have been one of the more difficult things that he's ever accomplish in his life to make that transition so effortless. Oh it is crazy pushes out shack Lebron James's in his town and it was forever his city before this Magic Johnson's sends out here saying and Magic Johnson was a Laker legend of no parallel. He's out here saying that's the greatest Laker of all time. It's crazy that he took over that that city that way and that we got to watch him go from teenager to legend. We got Waht the baby face go into the older man who is now going into his forties Tsk. USC Lakers fans went through. Southwood him. Like one thing that's unique. I think about the United States that can happen is that when a local La star who also happen to have a bit of national cachet goes a little bit different because the people that we think are big deals they think koby is a big deal because the one thing that unifies that fracture city is the Los Angeles Lakers and and they've legit where they grew up with basically feel like they raised him right like they got him various. They showed up on the porch. One day we're like hey basketball off easier for you. To take up into the next level of thanks thanks and they saw war ups and downs in nuance way. Then I can think of anybody's career that we've given this level of scrutiny to so for them to lose Kobe he means more or and I thought it was crazy to think that he could mean more than magic like it doesn't even matter which one of them was a better player. Kobe's the one that means something to them in that way magical always kind of be the mayor of of Los Angeles but Kobe is always going to be there guy. Well Mommy and I don't have kids dominique you do. There was a communal morning among parents that I've felt yesterday just just thinking about what a terrible day that was for. Vanessa Bryant not only losing her husband but the worst pain a human being can field losing your child and then the helplessness. Colby hope to feel at the end is a father who couldn't protect his daughter in those final moments as a parent. How did this reach you? Yeah I felt guilty honestly a little bit making it about myself south but I think it's human nature especially with kids to see something like that happened to imagine myself in a similar situation to think in those moments that you can't do anything to protect one of the people who is most important to you and then to put yourself in Vanessa shoes apparent to lose that daughter and to know that that that she has a whole life ahead of her and not know what he could accomplish could be in that joy and happiness to it'd be taken from her and two others who were on the flight also. It's an awful feeling to imagine it. I think that his homes for parents in a way that I think if you don't have kids it's hard to understand frankly Bomani Monte. No one wants to hear criticism during the eulogy but Kobe. Bryant had very famously in his past a sexual assault settlement we are seeing. The news is coverage that feels a little saintly feels a little mythology all over all the networks. How do you reconcile those two things? Well I mean part of it of course is when people die We tend to be nice at first. This is kind of what the societal customers with reality is. There was a settlement in this matter. There was a statement from Koby acknowledged a measure of culpability even if he deemed it to be some level of misunderstanding. This is what it is the key thing to me about how we handle it is not to act like whatever happened or did not happen just gets dismissed simply because the man has died. You can't take it out of the record you can't take it out of anybody's lives. It was there. We must acknowledge it if we're going to acknowledge him because it's such the central part of what the story is that surrounds. Well Dominique. I wanted to juxtapose that against the image of him in his forties where he was publicly very much a family family man when it appeared to us in public with little what we know on the outside that he had betrayed his wife in a way that was pretty unforgivable and then it seems to have healed the old. They seem to be together in a way that made love win there. What did you make of all of that part of it? Yeah imagining that. He is a champion for women's athletics. Exist coming off of rape allegations and imagining that he appeared to be kind of the consummate family. Man Who is there for his wife and his daughters is a hard thing that magin given where we were back in Colorado auto however I think one of the difficult things just as a society. We feel that we need when someone dies. We feel that we need to kind of categorize them as one thing as good or bad and I think that's true of any of us. I think Koby just like anyone else who has lived or died has done some things that are great and some things that are off. It's hard when when you're remembering somebody to focus too much on either side because I think you're going to end up doing it. Wrong is kind of a general rule usually when people die were really nice at least in the immediate aftermath at the tricky thing about this is this is that after the immediate aftermath is over. We don't go back and talk about it again so it winds up looking like all we're doing is focusing on the positive but just about about everybody wants you die. We kind of let it go for like twenty four to forty eight hours. Well let's accent some of the positive here because there are some happy things here. I understand. America feels like grieving today but there are happy memories here. We're talking about probably. Yeah no no no. We're here because Kobe largely brought joy to people. We're we're here to a point where there are people like me. That never considered themselves to be fans of Kobe at all. This hit us in the chest so much because I think a lot of realize even if you weren't his biggest fan he was such such a big part of your life if basketball was a big part of your life right like my adult. Life really didn't have any moments that did not evolve Kobe Bryant being at the forefront of things so many of the things we've done in the last fifteen to twenty years just watching it enjoying sports. He's been right there. We didn't grow up Lebron in this way because by the time we got the broad the machine was already wrapping them up. We got got Kobe from the very beginning and so much of this was absolutely fun. We're not here because sports is sears. We're here because sports are foot got series because of the affection that we wound ended up having four but the big reason why we here is because we enjoyed watching that do play basketball dominate. You know what willful as you come. From professional sports it is filled with people who are willful and yet still his reputation at the height of cutthroat competition. This guy's crazy he is crazy. You don't want any parts parts of his competitiveness. Yeah there's nobody Kobe Bryant when it comes to that I think maybe Michael Jordan is the only other person that you talk about. But I think that pressure that he felt impart to kind of have replaced. Michael Jordan is something that would crush people crushed a lot of people but it seemed like it was something he thrived in. I'm not going to necessarily say that it appeared. He was enjoying it or liked it. But I don't think that skills hillside that many people had a psychological makeup to survive and thrive under the pressure that he did from the time he was seventeen. Bo You love this side of him. Though that side of him you loved. Oh it's hilarious all the things about look. Can we talk about the fact. This man was running the triangle offense with his girls teenage. AAU team right this the level of dedication to win and get all. We're talking about. dwayne Wade broke. Kobe's knows in the All Star game as this call's Kobe Kobe. I love it. Who loves loves this? Only that do not even Jordan's GonNa be happy that you broke his nose in the naval competition that way we had one of these being with this all colby. It'll be memorial of highly questionable. Let's go back in time a little bit of money. You're gonNA find yourself in some of these interviews over the years. We've asked a lot of guests a a lot of Kobe questions. Here's a little montage of some of them. So they're the Kobe retirement celebration. Where you you touched saying? Farewell Colbrad after a great career. He's got a little bit of beef. No beef we call. I think he earned and deserved the farewell that he he got I thought that sixty points on fifty shots was was just perfect To finish off his career the Mamba out for for a lot of reasons. I also thought was perfect. Just you know the fact that he refers to himself as the MOM. But it's just great to me. I still love that. That was a series of back Tovia and I are cool but the reality is called is called Mamba our the way going third person nickname as punctuating. The dismount Mambo. It's you're right it's personally yes perfect you have in your house somewhere right the picture of the clothesline the cold noodles line. I do not have that up. Let's get my mom. Has that up somewhere. We're in now you don't have it up in my house. It's not in my sheep at our house. No I I look my mom. The the funny thing is my mom found. Coby coby had said that I needed. I wasn't hugged enough as a child. And so my mom kind of found him after the the instance and we had beaten them and offered him a hug in the bows of of the Phoenix. She really feels a part of that story and seven after the game you know. Oh you must know. I'm baby man. You don't mess. Maybe realized who. Can you give me a time that you were on the court on a professional basketball court and you look to your right or are your laughed and you said to yourself. I can't believe I'm up here with this guy I did it with two people. Did with Vince Carter my rookie year. Yeah I couldn't believe I was playing him. I was checking them in and Kobe. Of course I. I played with Kobe. Like they call him the Black Mamba then he was doing like the little snake. Sound when you want. The ball is gravy. So don't to moment. What was this sound? He was calling for the ball by making a snake. Sound sound right. Is I fish fish. It's do that and it's like they call them. They say everybody tells me he's going to do it before you plan you. Wait till you hear. I'm doing this doing like what they really. It's it's like a rat. It sounds more like a rattlesnake. Sound like some kind of make the most and Marissa had on the Basketball Gore. The most embarrassing moment probably playing on the raptors team to watch Kobe Bryant go for eighty one point. We started out that game playing two three zone. I don't know why we chose to do that. Once he got to probably forty. We're all looking at the coaches staff and saying how about we just go double team when he gets to fifty. Why don't we just go triple team? They're smush Parker standing right there. Make make him shoot the ball for some strange reason. It seemed like the coaches staff wanted to prove a point that we can stop Kobe Bryant. Now this is the same guy to me. That's not even Kobe's greatest game. You actually have sixty five against the mass. That went to the finals and three quarters. We were just a bunch of guys. Weren't a playoff team. We weren't a good defensive team and and he put the smack down but I want to tell all young people he never talk trash. He never thought this chest he never said a word. Because I would have close was lined up. He played flawless basketball. No highlights in the game. It was an elite performance. By one of the all time greats. Ovalles does live do design. That is hilarious. He said a word to be able to kill the but he did so he just killed us. Question broke down gas from the Cleveland. Their Hotel South Beach Miami. One last thing before we get out of here guys. We've all got to pick. Just one highlight one clip from Kobe's entire career that we think about as we remember him Bomani Hugo I can we get tired. He was played against the magic. And there was this rookie audit team named Dwight Howard. Who apparently had never been dumped all before it has life? Kobe out here making dreams come true way. Four four way way four. Oh totally unnecessary. There's no need for this. That was that was. This is a song as he hit him with more. And that's before he realized he ate even liked White Demba wrong place wrong town. But he was S. P.. One how about you gotTa pick one. What are you picking? Well I think it it was the Non Flint's you remember when Matt Barnes and him had a little altercation and he tried to scare them taking them all. This was the time when I realized that all that talk was was real athletes. Get out there and give the media was ice blood banks. I'm not nervous. I'm not scared. No really he's superhuman. Not React in that moment. It still doesn't make sense to me. You can show that forever and I don't understand how you don't just like a little bit like a human. That bovine is so cool that we ignore the fact that he did not want to defend the inbound in all right and you want to get the ball here go ahead. You can put the ball directly about face. But I'm not go fly. He he told Dwayne Wade. Go ahead I like it when you break my nose. That seems to be some video evidence. He doesn't mind that so much about his pain threshold here. How ridiculous is this you you get injured and Dominique? Hilly's tears these Achilles. Tears are awful awful but he knows if he leaves the game that he won't be allowed to come back he's gotta take the free throws so he just rolls his Achilles backup dominate. You know the pain of this I made. Are we sure that this was about coming back in Games. Only three minutes left but it wasn't about getting them to points you gotta get them to Kobe. Bryant right while that whole team was storming back to make the playoffs as they got. Now those dues and it didn't go right. He went over there and told him just to wrap it up so he could get back out there and play some basketball like a fruit roll up. His Achilles was like the fruit. Roll up guys. It was a pleasure. I hesitate to use that word today to hear both of you. Talk about this Dominic Foxworth. Check him out the undefeated undefeated you got the right time with Bomani Jones. I keep pointing the wrong direction because I'm not used to the way the cameras work regardless. Thank you for watching.