Kobe Bryant leaves a lasting legacy

By WALTER PATTERSON,

If you love watching basketball, you had to love watching Kobe Bryant play.  He was simply one of the greats.  He had that unique ability to come through when the chips were down, and he did it often. That is why most of us who love the game were shocked and saddened when we learned that he and his 13-year old daughter had died in a helicopter crash in Southern California.

If you watched TV on Sunday, you heard many great basketball stories about Kobe.  He entered the NBA shortly after graduating from high school, and even at that young age, he was able to succeed at one of the most competitive games in all of sports.

He was a true competitor, and even though he is gone from the sports world forever, he taught some important lessons to all of us and especially to young people just beginning their journey in life.  He taught all of us that there is no substitute for hard work.  Even though he was a talented athlete, his work ethic was unmatched.

He was always able to come through in the clutch, when the chips were down and the game was on the line.  When asked about this uncanny ability, he responded, “Well, the first thing I do is pick an open space on the floor.  I have been practicing shooting at that exact place, so when the time comes, it’s not a clutch shot, it’s just a shot that I have made over and over again in practice.”

Kobe Bryant died too soon, he was only 41, but his legacy will last as long as basketball is played.