Dear Kobe Bryant,

My heart is heavy as I read and watch the devastating news of the sudden and tragic crash that killed you, your beautiful daughter, and 7 others whose lives ended much too soon. Your daughter Gianna was the same age as my oldest, and as a mother, this news has hit me especially hard. In these moments I am reminded how beautiful, painful, and temporary life can be. 

I can only imagine the grief your wife, your other children, and extended family are going through right now. Your friends, your fans, your former teammates, rivals, the NBA, and the world at large are stunned by your untimely loss and will miss you deeply.  

As I read more about you and your legacy, I am really struck by your unwavering belief in yourself and your future way before you had massive success. Two of many quotes today I believe captured your greatness and can serve as an inspiration for all of us.

In a Sports Illustrated article by Michael Rosenberg, he wrote about you:

“He thought he was the best player on the Lakers before he joined the starting lineup. He knew he wanted to marry a teenager named Vanessa Laine when so many said it was a mistake. He set his goal to be the best player ever before he was close to being the best player in the NBA He saw the Lakers as his team even when teammate Shaquille O’Neal was the most dominant player of his era. He envisioned a happy, creative, post-playing life before he stopped playing”

With these core beliefs, your tireless work ethic, and passion for your sport you became an example of what is possible. You created a legacy within basketball and from what I’ve read, you knew how to live. What I’ll take from your example is an attempt to see my future self and work every day towards becoming that person. May we all learn from your example. 

In addition, from the late poet Jim Carroll “In basketball, you can correct your mistakes immediately and beautifully, and in midair.” Life doesn’t give us all the gift of your leaping ability, but I hope that we can all also learn as quickly as possible from our mistakes, and move forward gracefully.

Your mental & physical strength is unparalleled. I am sending enormous amounts of love and strength to your wife who lost you and a daughter and is grieving while comforting your three other daughters. 

Thank you for being an example of what is possible off and on the court.  You have been a source of inspiration for so many.

Much Love,

Melanie Shmois

Melanie Shmois, MSSA, LISW-S

Melanie Shmois, MSSA, LISW-S, is a licensed social worker, holding a Master’s Degree (MSSA) from Case Western Reserve University and a B.A. in Sociology with a minor in Spanish. After spending 2 decades helping others achieve their mental and personal goals, Melanie worked with Master Coach Instructor, Brooke Castillo, and became a certified Life and Weight Coach through the Life Coach School.

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