Tim Forde, Staff Writer
I hated you.
I hated your signature turnaround jumper that seemed unstoppable. I hated how relentless you were when you drove to the basket and somehow always came up with some sort of majestic finish. I hated your multilingual capabilities that allowed you to communicate with your foreign teammates. I hated that you were only 17-years-old when you were drafted. I hated that you got to play all 20 years of your career with your beloved Los Angeles Lakers. I hated how much you loved the game of basketball.
You loved the game more than anybody.
I loved watching you lose in the 2008 Finals to my Boston Celtics. I loved that you sat and watched Paul Pierce win the Finals MVP. I especially hated when you came back and won back to back championships in 2009 and 2010. I hated that you tore your Achilles’ and were robbed of your chance to win your 6th championship, as your mentor, Michael Jordan, did before you . I hated that you were never really the same Black Mamba after that injury.
I hated that everytime that I shot a basketball, I would shout “Kobe”. I hated that I loved your Mamba Mentality and admired your will to never give up. I hated that I owned multiple pairs of your Nike sneakers and felt cool wearing them. I hated how much I respected you, regardless of your sexual assault and rape allegations. I loved that even though you were considered not guilty, you publicly apologized and learned from your mistakes. I loved that you chose to dedicate your life after basketball to being the best father possible.
I hate that I really did not hate you at all.
I hate that you were taken from this world.
I hate that you are gone.
Thank you Kobe Bryant.
Rest in Peace.
With endless love and respect,
A Celtics fan