Want to Meet Kobe?

Kurt —  January 13, 2010

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This Saturday, Kobe is doing an interactive fan event at The Montalbán in Hollywood (where there is a Nike store), promoting his new Nike Zoom Kobe V shoes, but also just talking hoops. George Lopez is the host and moderator. It’s a rare public event for Kobe, and you can’t just show up and get into this, you need an invite.

And we’ve got one, for some lucky fan. You and a guest can go, what I want to hear is your best Kobe story. We’re not talking just if you met the man, it could be anything. Getting the chance to see him play. Something that happened at a bar while you watched him play. Anything Kobe related.

Friday morning I’ll post the winner and some honorable mentions (make sure you fill in the email line if you want to win). We’d love to hear all your stories, but if you can’t make it to a 2 p.m. event this Saturday in Hollywood say so, I want to make sure the winner and a guest can attend.

Have fun with this. It should be interesting

Kurt

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47 responses to Want to Meet Kobe?

  1. My name is Sam, when I was 5 because I am six now my grandmom and I watched the lakers everytime they were on tv and she visited me. we always talked about beign kobe when we could not do stuff right and got tired trying. we would say be a kobe and then we would try harder. i love kobe bryant and have a poster of him, when the lakers win the champions the first person i called was my grandmom first and we celebrated. i would love and be so happy to meet him and shake hands. i think I am goign to meet him because this saturday my grandmom is watching me. i hope my wish comes true
    love sam

  2. Ahh that’s an awesome opportunity for anyone within a reasonable distance. I’d enter but I live half a country away. But it’ll be fun to read the winning story.

    Zephid, Mimsy, Craig – Thanks for your help in the last thread. It’s a good thing I asked – I’ve had no problem popping off USB keyboard keys and wasn’t aware laptop keys were constructed differently. The compressed air sounds like a good idea, I used to have one but I’ll get a new one. Thanks for the help.

    As far as the injuries, I’m glad Pau’s taking time to heal. He’s as intelligent a player as we have in the league, and he understands the long-term. The only regular season games I think are vital are soon after the All-Star break, to build cohesion going into the playoffs. I wish Kobe would take some time off too, everything seems to be hitting the guy at once.

  3. Thanks for the opportunity, Kurt! My story will be simple, and in fact, recent.

    I got my Bachelor’s degree last summer. It goes without saying that I had a roller-coaster of emotions going through me, between the exultation that I was going to complete something my parents couldn’t, and the jitters that come with upcoming post-grad life. I knew the were years of hard work put into school, and the ups and down with following the Lakers all the time, were coming to a head.

    At the same time that our Lakers were making their run in the WC and NBA Finals, I was finishing off classes. With all the talk of Kobe’s incensed determination, I tried using that same fuel to cap off the best quarter grades I had since I started college. To top it all off, the Lakers played Game 5 the same day as my family’s graduation party (for me and other cousins that graduated). All of us were gathered at the TV, and when Kobe started jumping around in the wane of the 4th, it was like we both grew up, broke past that barrier of the past 4, 5 years, and got our degrees. Sharing that moment, even through a TV screen, will be a memory I carry forever.

  4. I assume the Kobe story should be posted in the comments right ?

    I’m from Vancouver but went to high school in Victoria, BC, and if you didn’t know, a guy named Steve Nash made his name in Victoria in a school called St. Michael’s, we’d play in their gym and you’d see all these Nash tributes in the rafters etc., why am I telling you all this? Well, everyone with any basketball knowledge on east coast Canada is a Suns “fan”.

    The year Nash won his second MVP (I just call it “Kobe’s magical season”, 81pts, 35 ppg, and the shit that’s about to happen next), in my dorm we’d all watched the Suns-Lakers series together, all 50 macho rugby/hockey/basketball/football players in one living room, and I’d get the dirtiest looks from people when I’d cheer a Lakers basket, although I did have one more Laker fan to cheer with, he wasn’t as outgoing as me so I’d get most of the hate (especially when Kobe baptised Nash with that dunk, they kicked me outta the living room after that, suckers).

    So it’s game four, by then I have a cast on my ankle because I’d just fractured it in a rugby game (got hit by two 250lb guys from both sides), the only benefit from not being able to walk for 3 months is that the Suns fans didn’t have the heart to kick me out anymore.

    With the Lakers down 2 with less than 10 to play, I basically did the Laker’s commentary, that’s if you replace actual commentary with all profanities, so you can imagine what came out of my mouth when Smush got that steal (people use him like a punchline now, but Laker fans never forget the steal), and Kobe made a floater that would make Tony Parker ashamed of himself.

    So OT, jumpball, Walton vs Nash, Luke almost tips it out of bounds but Kobe retrieves it, and I could feel the atmosphere in the whole room change in an instant, it’s like everyone in the room was about to be interrogated by Jack Bauer.

    Bang! Game winner! Then came my first “defying laws of physics/medicine moment”, ’cause I swear to god I jumped like 40 inches (with the cast on my ankle) to chest bump the only other laker fan in the room, and we both almost fell on our asses, but we couldn’t stop screaming.

    It turns out that one ankle injury led to several back and hip injuries and basically ended my basketball career during my first season with the University of Toronto varsity team, (altho I don’t think the chest bump did anything because I jumped off the opposite foot), but whenever I get down on myself for not being able to play anymore, I’d think of that kobe moment and the biggest smirk will show up on my face, people on the subway look at me like I’m crazy but all I could hear is “final seconds, Bryant for the win, BAAAAAAAAAAANG!!!”

    -DJ F.L.A.S.H.

  5. well, how can we compete with Sam, I mean, even if we win, we should probably give it to him, (but I want to see his ID, make sure he’s not putting us on) ;)
    so, I guess my fav Kobe story was … can’t recall the year, but I do know it was the post season and we were playing the Spurs. (western finals I think)
    I was in Montreal, and even though hockey season was OVER, every sports bar I tried, said they were going to play hockey, no NBA, I said, “but hockey’s over!”, and they replied, “It’s summer hockey”. arrgh!
    so I was sitting on a bench in the city, chillin’ when I saw a guy walking towards me with a Lakers jacket, Yes! so i walked up to him, and he must have thought I was a criminal, backing away, but I calmed him, asking “hey I’m here from LA, and really want to see the game tonight, got any ideas?” he told me about this one sports bar, with about 40 TV’s, down in a basement, he said if I asked the bartender, he’d probably give me 1 set to watch. so I went, asked the bartender and he did give me 1 set.
    I sat by myself in a corner, very happy, and the Lakers were getting pretty much handled by the Spurs. in the second half, we started making a comeback, and Kobe was all over the place, he definately was the X-factor in this comeback.
    so, I’m cheering, (thinking I’m by myself) then I notice a few folks joining me, (guess the Lakers were more fun than summer hockey), and they started cheering, soon others came over, and before you knew it, there was a big crowd all jammed into this tiny corner screaming for the Lakers come back, and we were all saying stuff like, “This Kobe guy, he’s pretty good!”
    we did get the W, and I left a very happy camper.

  6. For all that is made about coaching, attitude, concentration, and chemistry in the NBA it seems to be all about talent. Just check out the Lakers record when playing with Kobe, Bynum, Gasol, Artest, and Odom… and then look at their record when one of the big 5 is missing. It is startling.

  7. Long time reader, never thought I had anything insightful to post but I have a funny story involving Kobe.

    A couple of summers ago during the Kobe trade demand fiasco I learned that he would work out at my school’s gym at UCI early in the mornings. Since I had absolutely nothing to do that summer I started going to the gym at daybreak around 6:30 AM hoping I would be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of him or something.

    In the mornings it was just me and some local firefighters, so I figured if Kobe does come he would come around that time. 5 weeks passed and 3 times he was there but I missed him because those were my break days from the gym.

    Just when I was about to give up hope it happened. He walked in through the door with two bodyguards/trainers/randoms and went to the squat rack. My heart stopped, I was literally like 6 feet away from my hero, a guy whose work ethic had influenced me in many facets of life. After a few seconds of being paralyzed I tried to act cool and pretend like I wasn’t looking at him, but I would peek over every minute or so just to see if he was still there. I wanted to talk to him or get him to acknowledge me somehow but I was too afraid of messing up his workout and him giving me the death stare. So I lurked around just watching him lift and do some ab work and balancing drills.

    Time passes and he is about to leave, before doing so he busts out a few one armed pull ups. I have no idea what came over me but I decided I was going to do them too. So as he walked away I tried it on the same bar, bad idea. I slipped and fell flat on my behind and knocked over a stand of towels next to me. Kobe looks back and laughs and says “Keep at it” and did the head nod thing. He walked out and I probably laid there for a good 5 minutes because I was giddy that Kobe talked to me, and also sore as heck for falling.

    I know it is naive to think in this day in age that athletes are role models but even though they are human and exhibit shades of gray like the rest of us they have the ability to inspire greatness. Kobe does that for me, and his words have motivated me since.

    Sorry if this was too long! Great work with the blog guys, It really adds to my enjoyment of this team.

  8. Aaron, the old coaching axiom is “it’s not the Xs and Os, it’s the Jimmys and Joes” for a reason. Players do matter in the end.

  9. I have many memories of Kobe and the Lakers, but the one that stands out is the 2009 Championship. I was watching the game with 7 Laker Haters at my house. I was the only one cheering the Purple and Gold. All of their remarks, trash talking and hatred toward the # 1 NBA Team were nothing compare to the SWEET VICTORY!!! All of the sudden people got quiet, and some kept saying that the Lakers cheated, especially Kobe. I was to busy screaming “GO LAKERS” and running and jumping like crazy?. Awwww it felt so good to rub it in their face. And it was also a nice early birthday present. Thank you Lakers!!!!!

  10. Here’s my Kobe story.

    Im from Scotland (UK) and have been a huge lakers fan for along time, and as im sure you can imagine its hard to support a team in a country where basketball isnt very popular, but I watch games at 3am via league pass etc. Anyway a few winters ago I was lucky enough to watch Lakers play Orlando Magic at the amway arena live. A fantastic game where the lakers rolled over the magic easily. However I was the only person in the building cheering out for Kobe when he scored, and somehow I managed to get a few sitting beside me to cheer along too, obviously not die hard magic fans! So we had a wee kobe cheerleading group and even though we got some dodgy looks from the magic mascot, it was a great experience. And just to say im on holiday in LA just now so i would be available, cheers!

  11. I do not have a vote, but my vote is for Sam.

  12. Its august 22nd 2007 I’m back home from college for my brother’s wedding two days later. I’m one of 5 brothers and all of us have been Lakers fans for as long as we can remember and in turn HUGE Kobe fans because we’re all fairly young and don’t remember much before the mid to early ‘90’s. It was during the summer which means no Lakers games, so we were up late watching one of the Fiba America tournament games that were held in Las Vegas. When out of nowhere I scrapped all of my plans for my brothers Bachelor party and decided we were all going to pile into a car and drive the 4ish hours to Vegas to see Kobe in person at the game the next night. So the next morning we all piled into the car and headed to Vegas. We never told him exactly what we were doing, just that we were going to Vegas. (You could only imagine what he was thinking). Then when we pulled up the Thomas and Mac center on the UNLV campus he realized what was going on and started jumping up and down like a kid in a candy shop. We walk in and our tickets put us 12 rows behind the U.S.A. bench, close enough to actually hear Kobe, Lebron, Melo, Wade and everyone else talking. It just so happened to be Kobe’s birthday and when he got to the free-throw line for his first FT I looked at my brothers and we all started singing “Happy Birthday” as loud as we could, by the time we actually said “Happy birthday dear Kobe” everyone in the crowd had joined in, when we finished he looked up and winked at us. We’re all between 18-25 and we were all as giddy as kids. Best bachelor party ever!

  13. This one is for my sister who met Kobe before a preseason game in Las Vegas in the 2007-2008 season.

    My sister was on the softball team at UNLV at the time and she was meeting up with some of her friends at the Thomas Mack Arena locker room. Her and her girlfriends walk into the locker room to say hi to one of their trainers and low and behold, Kobe Bryant is getting taped up on one of the tables.

    My sister’s friends react with giggles and some hushed finger pointing in Kobe’s direction. Kobe smiles up at them and says hello to the girls, they nervously say hi back. Now, for a little back story, my sister had always been a really shy girl growing up and it would be like pulling teeth to get her to have a conversation with someone she had just met. This aversion to greeting new people finally began to change in college where she made it a point to meet as many people as possible to get over this phobia of hers. So, with that in mind, my sister breaks from her group of friends and says, “What are you doing here?”

    what are you doing here???

    Kobe replies, “I’m getting taped up.”

    An acceptable answer to my sister, she then extends her hand out and says her rehearsed greeting,”Hi, my name’s Kendall. What’s your’s?”…

    Her friends stand in stunned silence, Kobe, my basketball hero, the player I’ve always looked up to growing up (I even saw his first summer league game in Long Beach way back when) she asks him what his name is?!? She used to watch me in my awkward teen years run around the house screaming “Black Mambaaaaa” and doing various spasmastic fist pups whenever Kobe would hit a big shot. And she asks him what his name is…?

    Kobe responds with his signature raised eyebrow look and smiles coyly back at her. Prompting her to finally realize her mistake. She slaps her head with her free hand with a big ‘duh!’ and says, “My brother watches you play all the time. You’re the black mambo.” (That’s not a type-o she said black mambo, like the f-ing dance!) To which Kobe laughs and shakes her still outstretched hand and says, “Nice to meet you Kendall.” She’d probably kill me if she found out I posted this, but getting her an invite to an appearance of his would hopefully save my skin…probably

  14. I have many memorable Kobe moments but the one that really stands out is when kobe scored 81 points but execpt I fell asleep because I took sleeping medication because I have alot of lower back pain & the next day my daughter told me “Mom did you know Kobe scored 81 points” I was so mad at myself & till this day I still am I never miss a laker game I always watched the laker games since I was a little girl thats what kept me out of trouble I Love The LAKERS & KOBE He IS THE BEST PLAYER IN THE WORLD!!!…

  15. I’ve taken my wife to see the Lakers at Staples twice. The first time was in the spring of 2001, an afternoon game against the Knicks which the Knicks won by a point or two – I remember Fisher missed a shot at the buzzer. Kobe got hurt in the first quarter of that game and left without scoring a point – he went on to miss a bunch of games after that (this was while the team was struggling before they got it together and steamrolled the league in the playoffs).

    The second time I took my wife to a Laker game was January 2006, against Toronto. You probably remember what Kobe did in that game. We were sitting about 10 rows back, even with the free throw line in front of the visitors’ bench, watching Kobe drop 55 on the Raptors in the second half from just a few feet away. Still the most amazing athletic performance I’ve ever seen.

    0, 81. I tell my wife, “Kobe averages 40 when you go to a game.”

  16. It’s so hard to think of all the memories I have that has to do with Kobe and the Lakers. But really nothing beats the very first experience I had. I have been a Lakers fan my whole life. You know when your little, you like whatever your parents like. Well thank goodness my dads a Lakers fan! Anyways, i would try to watch every game I had access to, so one year, my dad suprised me with Lakers tickets when they came to play the Jazz in Utah. I was so freaking excited to see them and my favorite player Kobe! I asked my dad if we can drive around downtown Salt Lake looking for their hotel and get maybe an autograph or just see him up close. So we found out where they stayed, so when their bus arrived for shoot around, my dad told me to go sit casually in the lobby and maybe see if I can get my jersey signed without any notice from the hotel staff kicking me out. So I was sitting waiting all chill, and all of a sudden Lakers players were coming out of the elevators one by one. Still felt calm but had huge knots in my stomache. Then Shaq came out and I’m like he really is a big dude! But then when I turned my head back to the elevator, Kobe was walking with a team official going over something. I totally froze and couldn’t speak! I was able to stand and I just had my jersey in my hand. And all of a sudden, he stopped and came over to me and said, “would you like me to sign that for ya?” I still couldn’t say anything! So he smiled and took the jersey and signed it. I started to cry like a baby and he looked at me and put his arm around me and padded my back and said, “it’s ok, have a good one!” with a smile and went towards the bus. So then I was able to walk out of the hotel with my jersey in my hand to show my dad and hopefully contain my emotions after my amazing experience. My dad was so happy for me. There was couple of guys waiting to get autograhs too. But they weren’t able to cause the Lakers had to go to shoot around. So they noticed that I was able to get Kobes autograph. So after that amazing experience, I’m known as the girl who cried Kobe! But I don’t care cause nothing will beat that day and I’ll always remember with all the autographs I get from players, that is and will always be the best one! 

  17. I’d like to thank you first for giving us this opportunity! So awesome!

    My fondest memory of Kobe has to be the first Lakers game I ever went to – which was a birthday present from my family. It was April 11, 2008 against the New Orleans Hornets where the Lakers grabbed the Pacific Division title. It was just so amazing and awesome to be able to actually see Kobe with my own eyes.

    There was a specific play that just left me stunned. I remember it was during our offense and we were battling for the rebound when it landed in Kobe’s hands and he just took it straight the basket with a MONSTER reverse jam! He got me and the crowd going with massive loud chants of MVP. I remember losing my voice just a bit from yelling and screaming so hard!

    My eyes were able to feast on the awesomeness that was Kobe Bryant for the first time ever and he gave me a treat too with that dunk. I truly don’t think I could ever forget how loud I was – along with my family – since we all left that game with a minor sore throat. Kobe is one show stopping monster!

    I walked away from that game with a smile of victory, my first Kobe jersey, and memories that I can never forget.

  18. One day me and my family went to disneyland and as i walked out of a ride with my daughter i bumped into to Kobe. I was wearing my Laker jacket and he said i had a nice jacket and went his way. This was a really cool moment and just seeing Kobe tower over me was awesome. Now getting a chance to actually meet Kobe and maybe talk to him would be even greater.

  19. lakersfansincemagic January 13, 2010 at 4:59 pm

    I live near Newport Beach so one night in 2003, I felt like going to Benihanas and guess who showed up at our table. I felt like it was a surreal experience.. like so much excitement built up inside me. But I didn’t want to say much because Kobe was with his wife. Just acknowledged him and just enjoyed our dinner.. at the end he picked up the tab, I thanked him and said get another ring for me will ya.. and we left our separate ways.. in hindsight, I’m glad I wasn’t an annoying fan, sometimes stars just need their own time and space. I also saw Dennis Rodman worrying about his nipple ring at some corner in South Coast Plaza Mall.. he was like “shit..” looking at his nipple.. must be an infection lol

  20. My story well it is really hard for me to choose just one because Ive been a fan of Kobe and the Lakers for over half my life but I must say that the memories that stand out more are related to the summer Olympics and the 08-09 season.
    During the summer I went on vacation and I would set an alarm so I could wake up at 3am an watch Kobe and the rest of the Olympic team play. It bugged me so much that analysts would give a lot of the credit for the teams success so when Kobe took over in the gold medal game I was excited to watch him get the credit he deserved and I woke up my family for them to watch.
    Throughout the season I hardly missed a game and always had next day talks with classmates. I also had to defend Kobe and the Lakers from some haters. As the season continued it was obvious that there were plenty bandwagon fans that would doubt at the first misstep.
    My love for Kobe and the Lakers got me a pair of Sparks tickets because I kept talking basketball at a scholarship dinner. It also got just about everyone that signed my yearbook to mention Kobe or the Lakers at least once and plenty of phone calls and texts celebrating the Lakers championship. In addition it has gotten me plenty of decoration for my room and dorm room. And it got my roommate and I to disagree constantly.
    It would be an absolute dream to get to meet Kobe and I would be really great full if I was chosen.
    Oh yea sorry this is so long and thanks for your time =)

  21. You cannot truly give a single Kobe story. I have been a Laker fan since the early 60’s. I have seen the best in the game. Wilt, Russel, Kareem, Magic, Byrd, Michael and many, many more. They played for fame and glory. With Kobe its living 24/7/365 basketball. He doesn’t have an off season. He is learning and practicing everyday of the year. They say Michael changed the game well, Kobe refined it!!!

  22. Hmmm I’m among the skeptical. Of course if Sam really wrote that and not Sam’s dad, then it’s awesome. If I’m wrong I’ll probably feel like a horrible person.

    Wow, offering Kobe tickets is a great way to get the lurkers to show up, I guess. Never realized how many readers this site had without commenting.

  23. I have so many wonderful memories of Kobe it is hard to choose one, but my favorite has to do with my fraternity.

    I went to school on the East Coast so most of my fraternity brothers were not Lakers fans (but many of them were basketball fans). On the day of Game 4 of the Suns-Lakers series, my father and I drove back to college from NYC. This was the first and last time my dad ever came to visit me other than at orientation and graduation (which really don’t count as visits). Now I tell all of the brothers in the house that my dad is visiting and that he would like to organize a house beirut night (this was a big deal since it was a Sunday night, but I promised that my dad would buy good beer so most of the brothers decided to play). Before going out and getting the beer, my dad, some of the brothers, and myself watch Kobe put on a show that will never be forgotten. After watching the game, my dad and I go to Wegman’s to buy beer. And we bought so much of it we could hardly fit it in the car (we were so happy at what happened I don’t think we cared that we had gone nuts). After dinner, the house starts playing beer pong. By this time word had spread that Kobe went Mamba on the Suns and because my dad and I are Lakers fans, that was the primary topic of conversation for the evening. So we have 5 or 6 games going on at a time and we’ve been playing a while so most of us are really “happy.” At the end of one game, the other team hit the last cup and we needed to hit 1 to force overtime with our redemption shots. My dad goes first and misses. I’m up. I yell at the top of my lungs, “KOBE TIME!!!” hit the table with my free hand, and then bury the redemption cup, forcing overtime. My dad and I then went on to win the game. The house would never be same after that night. Ever since that evening, when someone guarantees that they will make a shot, they say “Kobe” then hit the table (thus hitting the “Kobe button”), and shoot. I’ve been out of school for 3 years and to this day, the Kobe button lives on.

  24. Ok the following story I is completely true and I can back up every detail.

    I am 23 and I currently live in Kentucky (but dont worry if given the chance I would board an airplane right now to be in LA to meet my hero).

    A little background of my obsession with Kobe . . . . When I was 8 I lived in Utah and that’s when I was first exposed to the NBA (because primarily states without NBA teams dont respect the NBA). I was playing for a youth basketball league in Salt Lake City and as a reward for joining the league they would give free tickets to one game during the season to see the Jazz play someone. I hated the Jazz but I loved basketball and I went to see the game. This was when the Jazz were at the top of their success, but my luck had it that the game I got free tickets to was against the Lakers. So my first NBA game ever was the Lakers versus Jazz. The Lakers team that started that night was Nick Van Exel, Eddie Jones, Elden Campbell and Shaq (dont remember who was at the SF maybe Cedric Caballos?) Del Harris was coaching. At the time I was huge into collecting basketball cards and I had a rookie card of this player named Kobe Bryant, I had never seen him play because I was young and well he never got much playing time. So I remember being at the game and I remember the Lakers ended up losing but at the end of the game with like 2 minutes to go I started standing up with my friend Chanting Kobe Kobe Kobe put Kobe in. Luckily he did play the final 2 minutes in what we would now call “Taco Time”. My first memory of the living legend. But here’s my real story about the Black Mamba.

    When I was a junior in high school I was given the opportunity of a lifetime. My aunt is very good friends with Dwane Casey (the now Mavericks assistant coach) and at the time he was the assistant coach of the SuperSonics. He gave me the chance to come fly out to come see the Lakers play the Sonics and he even told me there would be a great chance that I would get to meet my hero Kobe. So my aunt and I fly out and spend the weekend following Dwane around, he took me to the Sonics practice facility and I got to watch the Sonics practice. The squad they had then was really great (Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis among the stars) and they were a bunch of nice guys. Anyways the day of the game I road with Dwane to watch the team shoot around before the game started, it was funny on the way into the security gates in the back of the arena these Asian Americans were waiting with pen and paper to get any persons autograph they could imagine, Dwane told me to sign it and I did it was pretty funny. So we enter the arena and we immediately go to the court and he tells me to sit on the bench because he had to help a player warm up (All fans here will laugh at this because the player was Vladimir Radmonivic I think it was his rookie year). As I was sitting on the bench I remember Rashard Lewis and the owner of the Seattle Seahawks sit down right next to me and they introduce themselves and I’m like a kid in a candy store. So there I am sitting on the bench and Dwane comes up and says when the Lakers come to out to start shooting around he would take me to meet Kobe. I was SOOOO excited I was about to meet my hero. So 30 minutes pass and everyone is out on the court shooting around except for Kobe and Shaq, finally Dwane says they havent come out yet but the game is about to start so I have to go to my seats. He says I will try to take you after the game to meet him and I say okay, getting a little nervous I wouldnt get the chance to meet him but I go to my seats and the game starts. Talk about being a Kobe fan this was THE game to watch. Shaq was tossed out of the game for getting 2 technicals in the 1st quarter, so the whole game was THE KOBE SHOW. He was spectacular in every way he and the Lakers dismantled a pretty solid Sonics team.

    After the game was over Dwane came up and said the coaches were furious about the loss because of how embarassing it was to lose to a Lakers squad without Shaq. My heart broke in ways I never imagined when he told me it wasnt the best time for me to go to meet Kobe considering how the Sonics got shown up. So there I was closer than I will probably ever be to get the chance to meet my hero for 15 years of my life, to me he is Basketball, without him I dont know if I would ever have discovered a love for the game that I have now (or a love for the Lakers on top of that). Being 30 feet away from your hero without getting to meet them is one of the worst feelings I’ve ever had to swallow. Yes I was so blessed and fortunate to experience the things I got to in Seattle but I have to say the feeling of disappointment I felt on the plane ride home still leaves a terrible taste in my mouth to this day. That was the best chance I will ever have to meet Kobe and I was so close but so far away, I would trade meeting every player ever to play basketball to just get to shake the hand of Kobe because like I said to me he IS basketball.

    Anyways that’s my story like I said I can validate every bit of it and I would give anything to meet the guy. I may live in Kentucky but my heart is in LA.

  25. What if we just want to meet George Lopez?

  26. #25, LOL. Give this guy the ticket. After reading all the heartwarming, perhaps fictitious memories and inspirations, Stanley’s post had me laughing for a while.

  27. I’ve been a fan of Kobe ever since he came into the league, so I have a lot of stories about watching him, though the closest I’ve come to him was going to a game at Staples. So I would love to go to this event. Anyways, the first story that came to mind for me was Game 4 of the 2006 playoffs against the Suns. I was watching the game by myself in my dorm room because my roommate was out. The way the room was situated, I could lay on my bed and the TV was at the foot of the bed so I could watch it from there. I remember that when Kobe hit that layup to send the game into overtime I jumped up and started pumping my fist and my heart was racing because I was so nervous. But I didn’t want to jinx anything, so I went back to my bed to watch OT. But when Kobe controlled that tip from Walton and hit the game winner a jumped out of the bed and started screaming, jumping up and down and pumping my fists. My door was closed so I have no idea if anyone heard me, but I didn’t care because I was so stoked. I think I kept celebrating for close to a minute, and every time they shoe that replay I still get chills. I called my dad (who’s also a big Lakers fan) once I calmed down and we chatted for awhile about how awesome that ending was. Had anyone else been in the room I don’t think it would’ve been as memorable, but because I was alone I just remember I let loose. I will never forget that moment.

  28. DrivenByTheHate January 13, 2010 at 9:45 pm

    First the heartwarming story,
    My first Lakers game in person was actually this year on Dec 22. I went as a guest of a family friend who gave me the ticket for free in exchange for taking care of a kid with Autism. By the 4th the game was fairly a nail biter, and the child was both a tired and a bit discouraged. However, at this time, a pair of Kobe scores including freethrows totally changed his mood around and made him as happy as I had seen

    Now honestly, my greatest memory of Kobe is from the 2 post Shaq seasons. Just like Kobe, I felt that I had struggled without much success. In battling some melancholy and possibly depression, my life was put back on track not by Kobe directly, but by a Carl’s Jr. poster with Kobe on it, namely that “they who endure, conquer.” In seeing this, and seeing Kobe play through the tough times lend credence for me to believe the cliches and to persevere through the very tough times.

  29. I grew up watching Kobe and the lakers. I mean i had the first shoes designed for kobe, the crazy 8’s. I would think wearing those shoes would give me the talent on the court just like Kobe. I was probably 9 at the time. There are so many memories dealing with Kobe, it’s hard to choose.

    It was the 2000 WCF Game 7 against the Portland Trailblazers. That day I had to go to a wedding reception at a retaurant and I was pretty bummed that I was going to miss the game. I mean come on it was Game 7! I’m walking to the restaurant with my family and my cousin stops me and goes “{don’t worry, we brought our mini tv, we just have to get a table with a plug.” We go in there, plug the tv watch the whole game. We had literally the bride and groom and about 50 people including the waiters surrounding the table watching the game. They literally gave me the mic to hold against the speakers so everyone could hear and mind you the tv was so small yet everyone was around it. Then it happens, Kobe does a cross over on Pippen, goes down the middle, and throws an alleyoop to Shaq and the whole room is yelling and screaming. Everyone’s in good cheers, hugging everyone, and the energy was just amazing. Seriously the guests at the reception were hugging the waiters.

    Whenever I see that clip of the infamous Kobe-to-Shaq, I think of where I was at and I get a mental picture of everyone’s face when we saw that play. I look at Kobe now and see how much he’s grown to be the best in the league and I’m glad I was able to witness the greatness in the making throughout the years.

  30. There’s nothing in sports quite like the Lakers being down 1 point, 8 seconds left on the clock, and Kobe Bryant dribbling the ball down the court. There’s a certain electricity, a tingle that sends shivers down your spine because you know something special is about to happen. It’s as special as a John Elway game-winning drive or a Barry Bonds at bat in the 9th inning.

    I felt that shiver Game 4 of the 2006 playoffs series against the Phoenix Suns. Kobe’s shot and the Lakers 3-1 lead was the improbable; no, it was the impossible.

    Already three times this year, I have shaken my head both in disbelief and in utter exhilaration. I am disgusted that one player can rip the heart out of an entire city but more relieved that he plays for, and not against, the Purple and Gold.

    “He takes bad shots. He takes too many shots. He’s selfish. He’s arrogant. He never passes. He’s a ball hog.”

    “He drove Shaq out. He only won because of Shaq. He’ll never win a ring without Shaq. He’ll never be as good as MJ. He’s actually a bad person. He’s a criminal. He’s a rapist.”

    Personally witnessing the growth and maturation of Kobe Bryant have been my fondest memories of him. Kobe came into the Lakers organization as a starry-eyed 17 year old. The Kobe we see today is a hardened and mature adult who better knows the realities of life and the responsibilities of stardom.

    Kobe came into the Lakers as a child and will leave the Lakers an adult. In that sense, Kobe’s actually become our own child and become a member of our own Lakers family.

    I believe that’s why Kobe has so many vehement defenders of him nation-wide. We proudly take care of him as if he were one of our own. No other fanbase has had what we Laker fans have: a legitimate Greatest-of-all-Time candidate who has grown up in front of our very own eyes.

    However, this is also the same reason why Kobe harbors so many critics. Other fanbases can only imagine and thus understandably envy what Laker fans have enjoyed so fruitfully for the past 13+ years. And so the criticisms will invariably continue. Although Kobe’s past tells us he’s not the best person in the world, Kobe’s game tells us that he is the best basketball player in the world.

    It won’t be the last time the Lakers will be down 1 point, with 8 seconds left on the clock, and Kobe Bryant with the the ball in his hands dribbling down the court. And it won’t be the last time Kobe sends tremors of chills down the my spine and the spines of spectators world-wide.

    He plays through broken fingers, severed tendons, sprained ankles, hyper-extended knees, flu-like symptoms, and food poisoning. He’s set new NBA records and have shattered the old ones. He now even embraces team leadership. He gunslings for the most successful franchise in NBA history and he’s brought home the Larry O’ Brian four times, but don’t mistake the past with the future: he’s not done yet.

    Kobe’s story is still being written and my fondest memory lies not in the past, but in the future. You see, even amongst all the greatness of his past, the very best part about Kobe Bryant is that the best has still yet to come.

    And that’s something not even Elway or Bonds could say.

  31. My daughter was born in late January 2006 and I was extremely overjoyed to see her and hold her in my arms in the nursery.

    Staying overnight at the hospital worrying about the birthing process meant that I had no access to newspapers or TV.

    So after gently laying my daughter down beside her still-sleeping mom, I opened up my newspaper and headed straight to the sports page. Tears rolled down my face when the news of Kobe’s 81-point explosion against the Raptors greeted me. Such… indescribable joy.

    I don’t know which made my day more: my daughter’s birth or Kobe’s 81.

    Does this count as a heartwarming story good enough for the ticket?

  32. I have been a diehard lakers fan as long as I can remember. I’ve watched almost every game they have played in the 19 years I have been alive. And every time kobe hits a game winning shot, I have appropriately screamed my head off. But this year, my freshman year in college, Kobe has hit 2 game winning shots while I have lived in the dorms. Both times, as me and my best friend screamed our heads off, the cops have shown up at my dorm and given me tickets for being too loud after quiet hours. Thats $350 in fines from the government…and I want to meet kobe so he can sign them.

    Thank you

  33. So my story will probably be about the same moment as a lot of other people. My family like many is a Lakers family. Always have been always will be. My parents have 4 kids, me being the youngest. My brother, I, and my oldest sister are die hard Lakers fans. If we’re all not watching the game together things don’t quite feel right. Obviously it being the playoffs there is no way that we miss watching any game.

    So its Sunday game, and we’re all excited we have a chance to go up 3-1 for what would seem like a series clinching win. Something that gets overlooked in this game is how huge Smush Parker was at the end of the 4th quarter to even get us into overtime. So the Lakers are down by 5 with 7 seconds left. At this point we’re all pretty much resigned to the fact we’re losing this game even if we hit a 3 they get fouled and we don’t have enough time left. Devean George inbounds to Smush and he somehow manages to heave up a desperation 3 that manages to go in. He then makes the steal on Steve Nash, manages to save it from going out of bounds, and passes it to Devean George who passes to Kobe which leads to Kobe’s floater that seemed to float in the air for eternity before softly falling through the hoop.

    At this point we break into a moderate level of insanity we just scored 5 points in 5 seconds. However that only got us into overtime we still had to win the game. While overtime was stressful we always felt like the game was ours for the taking. We never went down by more than 3. So going into the last 15 seconds of the game we’re down by 3 either needing a quick score or a 3 to tie it. Kobe opts for the quick score so we’re assuming we’ll take the quick foul when they inbound the ball. Luckily for us we go for the steal/tie up, get the benefit of the doubt and get the jump ball. The TV timeout after the jump ball was called was one of the longest I’ve ever experienced in my life. Literally 20 or so last second situations ran through my head, I couldn’t take the suspense much longer. We’ve all been standing in the living room watching the game for the last 20 minutes or so. My brother and I have a ritual; whenever the game comes down to a last shot we hold hands. We sort of feel like we’re combing our positive energy and sending it towards the Lakers. Yeah I admit it sounds pretty crazy, but fan is short for fanatic, and that’s what we are.

    So coming back from timeout my brother and I are holding hands as my sister stands opposite us eyes intently on the screen. We know there are no timeouts so everything is going to happen now, Luke wins the tip easily and gets it to Kobe who barely saves it from going out of bounds I can still see the clock ticking down 6…..5…….4…… as Kobe comes across mid court, You see the double team coming as he dribbles towards the right elbow, he’s taking the pull up jumper, that’s his favorite spot, he elevates with about 1.5 seconds left. I can still hear Mike Breen’s voice ” Bryant for the win………. BANGGGGGGGG!!!!!!!” His shot seemed to go through the net just as the buzzer sounded pure pandemonium. I’m 21 years old. I was a big fan during the 3 peat. I was an even more knowledgeable fan last year during Kobe’s 4th championship. This to this day remains the best moment I’ve ever had being a Lakers fan. When I think of pure joy that moment is what comes to mind. My brother and I jump on my sister she falls to the ground and we all just lay there hugging each other and screaming. That was a young Lakers team. A team that had no business competing with Phoenix in that series. But Kobe single handedly imposed his greatness upon them. I knew Kobe was great before. I know he’s great now. That moment is something that I always think about when somebody asks me why I love the Lakers so much. The joy that one man brought me on a Sunday afternoon in April.

  34. This summer I was celebrating my birthday at Playhouse in Hollywood with 8 of my nearest and dearest. Amidst the celebrating, bottle popping and overall good times, none other than Paul Pierce and his crew come waltzing into the club. For this Lakers fan, he may have been the worst person imaginable to crash my party.

    Aside from him being the object of my my man Sasha V’s nightmares for the last two years–and no one messes with the machine, I have had a personal vendetta against Pierce for a while now. One time, when I was a young, impressionable 11-year old boy I approached Paul Pierce after a Lakers game. At the time, the most coveted thing in the world to me was an NBA autograph. Not once, but TWO TIMES Paul Pierce ignored me, and proceeded to hit on a few girls. From then on, my deep-seeded hatred for Pierce bud.

    So of course, he is the NBA star that has to show up to the club on my Birthday 11 years later. I would’ve taken any other NBA player, even Anderson Varejao (who for some reason annoys the heck out of me, even though I have a strong affinity for high-motor nba players)!

    I needed to defend my ego and our turf. I went up to Paul Pierce who had the table next to mine and, knowing that Pierce grew up in Inglewood, I said, “Welcome home…” As he was about to reply ‘thank you’ I interjected “but this is KOBE’S TOWN!” and walked away. I looked back at Pierce just staring at me with his cocky grin. The same joke-of-a-grin he had on his face when he came back from being wheel chaired off the court in 2008, which earned him a Razzie nomination for Best Crybaby.

    I walked away that night, a proud man. I wasn’t going to let my Paul Pierce spoil my night. I played for the name on the front. I defended Kobe’s town.

  35. Originally from LA, I spent the last three years in New Jersey for graduate school. My Laker obsession led to an unhealthy lifestyle during the school year, having to stay up until 3am three nights a week following Lakers gamecasts on Yahoo.com. (The games would end at 1:30, then I would spend an hour reading blog reactions, and sometimes even troll on opposing teams blogs, living for comments that begrudgingly recognized Kobe’s dominance, and then it would take a while to wind down after such shenanigans). My wife joked that I was carrying on an affair with the Lakers. She wasn’t wrong.

    Twice during this time was I able to secure tickets to games in the area, and both proved to be momentous. The first: February 2008 against the Nets. Turned out to be Pau’s first game with the team, and also the game where Kobe suffered the avulsion fracture. He only scored 12 points, but being there to see the instant on-the-court chemistry between him and Pau gave me the chills. I knew I was watching the beginning of something special. It was frightening as hell to see Kobe with the towel over his head after the finger injury and then see him head to the locker room, I will admit.

    Second game: February 2nd, 2009 – MSG. My wife and I were hesitant to cough up the cash needed to buy Knicks tickets, us being poor graduate students and all, but the chance to see Kobe play in the Garden was a not-to-be-missed opportunity. My mood was somber coming in, with Bynum having just been injured again after beasting for a few weeks, I wasn’t sure how the team would react. My first observation walking to my seats was: Damn, there are a GRIP of Lakers fans here tonights. Couldn’t believe it.

    Game starts, and Kobe Bryant couldn’t miss a shot if he tried. Drives, threes, fadeaways, post-ups – it was like watching a grand master paint his signature piece. The buzz in the garden was like nothing I had ever experienced. I could smell Spike Lee as he was shitting in his pants. Everyone around me was texting OH MY GOD to everyone in their phone. I think it’s lame to use the word ‘orgasmic’ to describe events outside of the bedroom, but if anything in my life were to qualify, this would. When Kobe hit his 60th point my world was spinning. MVP chants for Kobe Bryant IN MADISON FREAKING GARDEN.

    Walking out of the arena, there was a cadre of Spanish men dancing around, waving a Spanish flag, dancing, and singing “Yo soy Pau Gasol, Pau Gasol, Pau Gasol” – You can’t make this stuff up. I am Pau Gasol? What? (Pau had a pretty spectacular game that night as well).

    Anyway, thanks for the chance to share Kurt.

  36. Kobe changed my life.

    His work ethic and heart gave me a person that i can base what it is to be a individual that is forever inspired to be the great person in life. He has shown how when facing adversity that even the most prominent person can have a weakness and that not everyone is perfect. Off the court and on the court he has shown endearment through the roughest times.

    All this has showed me how to never get to low and never to high , and to keep a leveled head on every day basis.

  37. I started the M-V-P chants for Kobe at the Boston Garden.

  38. Kristoffer Liquigan January 14, 2010 at 1:13 pm

    So far my best Kobe story/moment was recently when i attended the heat vs lakers game. my parents have been wanting to go to a laker game in the staples center because they have never been. luckly i was able to find them tickets and on top of that, they asked if i wanted to go with them. and i thought hey… why not… ill get to see not just the lakers but one of my favorite players of all time Kobe go up against another superstar in DWade. One of the best games I ever attended in my life, especially for it to end with Kobe hitting the buzzer beater and for me and my parents screaming and cheering after Kobe winning the game. Ive always had opportunities where i could have possibly met Kobe. Recently some students from my school attended the Kobe Camp to do some first aid work and sports therapy. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to go because I was still new to the school and was not well experienced enough to go. Even when I go out to play pick up games at the park or play games in the basketball leagues that I am in I’ve heard complements from other people on the other teams or friends that I play with of how I play similar to Kobe. Or someone from the other team saying “guard Kobe” (probably because i wear his shoes on the court and his jersey number 24). Although I’m not him I love his work ethic and studying his game and incorporating his game to my game because I love the game of basketball and how he does his thing. I also have the same mind set of being the best on the court. It would seriously be a blessing for me to see him this Saturday and be able to meet him and talk to him about his new shoe and his game so I can find out how to work on my game and make myself a better player in Basketball. There are so many other things I can say about Kobe because he is one of the many players that I look up to

  39. My favorite Kobe memory is when he destroyed MJ and the Wizards.
    I watched the game at my friends house and he was a HUGE Jordan fan. We used to always get into arguments about who was better(Jordan v Magic)(Jordan v Kobe).
    Now, I’m a Laker fan and I would always argue that Magic was the best player since, if I was starting a team, I would always take Magic first because every other player I picked after him would automatically play better. But he would always pick MJ, because his individual skills were the best ever. Whatever.
    So, we’re at his house watching the Lakers vs the Wizards. And he’s saying that MJ is gonna school Kobe. Kobe’s a Punk.
    Blah Blah Blah.
    The Game Starts.
    And Kobe comes out guns blazing and lights them up for 42pts in the half. I think he was like 8-11 from the 3pt line IN THE HALF! I was going nuts, just rubbing it. Loving every minute of it.
    Kobe finished with 55pts.
    My friend couldn’t say a thing.
    Jordan was old. Finished.
    As I left I told him “MJ is dead….Long live Kobe”
    :)

  40. Me and my dad have been Los Angeles Laker fans ever since Kobe was drafted into the NBA. Although he has been watching the NBA for roughly 20 years, he has never attended a real game, so I accompany him by watching the Lakers with him, even through all of Kobe’s rough times.

    When I was in high school, I got really into the Lakers and so did my dad. I’ve always wanted to have posters of him in my room, but I couldn’t afford it.

    Sometimes, I would go to the my dad’s tool shop to help him there, and although not a lot of people came to the shop to buy things from us, we were happy because we could spend time reading the sports section of the newspaper and talk about the previous night’s game. It was a something to do to pass time, and Kobe was usually on the cover of the NBA sports section too.

    From the business though, I knew my dad didn’t have enough money to buy me Kobe posters, and I didn’t want to ask him either.

    So what I would do was every time I went to the shop, I’d ask my dad to save the newspapers of Kobe. I used scissors and cut out the photographs of him from the newspaper, and one by one, taped his pictures on my wall.

    My dad thought I was crazy for having a room fall of Kobe newspaper photos, but I knew inside he was smiling. I have seen Kobe up close, but only in photographs and on TV. I wish one day I can actually meet him up close in person.

    Besides sitting next to my dad and seeing Kobe on TV every now and then, telling him that I actually saw him up close in real life, I think, would make my dad smile. It’s those moments that mean more to me than any game winning shot can offer.

  41. Hillary Ocholla January 15, 2010 at 4:14 am

    For the record, I’ll never get to meet Kobe. Now that is out of the way, my story starts. I’m a Lakers fan because of Kobe Bryant. I first heard about him as a ’17 year old kid, out of high school’ He had joined the Lakers and, because I was in high-school at that time, I thought I should root for him. Seriously, I had no idea his career would turn out to this huge, full of ups and downs.

    (Depending on whether the Lakers are playing on the east coast or the west coast), In Nairobi, Kenya, I have to wake up at roughly either 3:30am or, 6:30 am just to watch them play select matches on ESPN Pac Rim. We have two matches per week on this channel and, it’s always a matter of probability if a Lakers game will be live. These are the odds:

    1) The Lakers have to be playing on a Wednesday or a Friday night

    2) Out of all the matches being played on that day, the NBA have to select the Lakers game for international broadcast.

    Trust me, its’s always a matter of relief when I get to see a Lakers game on the schedule.

    My favorite Kobe Bryant memory was when he had injured his right hand and he had to play a number of games wearing a golf glove (well, it looked like one). Kobe said it served its therapeutic purposes for the injury. Ahem, I’ll let you decide, it had a large Adidas logo on it as well. He got plenty of stick about wearing it, and plenty of dodgy nicknames as well. However, during the time Kobe was wearing this glove, he was having a number of good games. Reporters used to ask him if he would take off the glove once his hand recovered. He said he would.

    Then came a Christmas day game. It was the Lakers vs. Spurs at the staples center and, it was live on ESPN my part of the world. I woke up at 6:30am looking forward to a real good match-up between the two teams. Lakers seemed to have the game in control in the 4th quarter. Then came the moment that totally had me going insane.

    Kobe got the ball passed to him by someone. Really, I’ve no idea who it was. Mario Elie was defending Robert Horry in the key but, he saw Kobe headed for the basket. Elie figured he’d spin from Horry and stop Kobe. Kobe rose for the dunk, Elie didn’t get high up enough. Kobe had the ball in his gloved right hand. Boom!! Camera flash right at that moment, picture soon to be sent to the poster print shop. Next thing they were both on the floor. Staples Center was going crazy.

    I think a time out was called right there and, as the replays of the dunk came on, the accompanying commentator said, “Kobe…..heehee………Bryant.” Note the subtle Micheal Jackson reference. The commentator even said it in a high pitched tone.

    The glove eventually came off and wasn’t a Kobe trademark as most people anticipated. Yeah, Kobe’s games just weren’t as outstanding when the glove came off. I don’t know why but, that play always sticks in my head. Out of all the incredible things Kobe has done on the court, this is my favorite memory of him.

    For those who want to watch it, the play is shown on this official NBA youtube video at exactly 0:49

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwiO8tiObSw

  42. What can I say about the Black Mamba? He in my mind is the greatest to ever play the game. That last statement is where my story starts.
    I am 21 years old so when Kobe was drafted I was about 7 years old. I was with my dad watching that draft. He had heard about Bryant and was praying the Lakers would get him. Then the Hornets got him and my dad was heartbroken!!! Ofcourse as a kid I was upset just because my dad was upset. I loved basketball but he was like I am now… A VERY DEVOTED FAN! And I will never forget what he told me shortly after that. He said, “son… the Lakers just passed up the next Michael Jordan!” and I was like but dad MJ is MJ. In my 7-year old brain I was thinking geez dad this kid just graduated high school. But he insisted on it. To his extreme delight the Lakers traded his least favorite player on the entire Laker team. He never even called Vlade Divac by his real name. He called him the flopper long before the battles of the Lakers and Kings in the early ’00s. But the fact the “the flopper” was gone was not the extremely delightful part. That part was they got that skinny guard from Lower Merion High in Pennsylvania. The kid he heard about for months before that worked out with pro basketball players and was supposedly taking them to school. From that day on Kobe was always my favorite basketball player. Actually just my favorite athlete period. But the day Kobe hit those 2 unbelievable threes in Portland over the so called “Kobe stopper” to clinch the Pacific Division on the last game of the season I started believing what my dad said about Kobe being the next Jordan. However, sometime last season I stopped believing him. The reason for this is he is not Michael Jordan. No way no how. What was I thinking? HE’S BETTER! KB24, the Black Mamba, Jellybean, the assasin, whatever you wanna call him…. He is the greatest basketball player to ever play. I realize everyone has different opinions. But this is my story. And the eventual scoring leader in Lakers franchise history is the greatest in mine.

  43. Although my parents were my role models, I remain in awe of Kobe’s work ethic. When I am facing a challenge, not sure why, what comes to mind is “what would Kobe do?” He would stick with it and try harder. This inspires me to try harder. Despite the adversity he’s overcome, he’s emerged as a strong, focused leader. I admire him very much for his work ethic and his spectacular talent. While I would love to meet him and ask him to autograph my “81” T-shirt, I would appreciate it if you would allow Sam the opportunity to meet Kobe. It’s certain that experience would be life changing for him. I can be content to watch every Laker game on League Pass, and attend games when I can, feel blessed that I have the opportunities. If, however, there’s a chance to meet Phil, call me immediately!! (smiling here)

  44. My most memorable Kobe story happened when Kobe became the second highest scorer in a single game second only to Wilt Chamberlain. I was sitting in my room alone at my fraternity house when I started realizing that there was something special in the making. I was like a little kid waiting for the clock to hit midnight on christmas eve. I just had so much excitement but wasn’t sure how to express it, so I just kept shouting and jumping up in down on my couch. I came to the conclusion that if someone walked in they would probably think I was nuts, but I didn’t care one bit. The memorable part came when Kobe was getting close to Michael Jordan’s record I was just ready to burst. Kobe being Kobe kept executing and when he beat David Robinson’s record to become the second highest single game scorer, I lost it and jumped so high off my couch that I hit the ceiling in my room. A few hours later I woke up in a hospital bed with a gnarly gash in my head. Apparently the most memorable Kobe moment for me was Unmemorable since I knocked myself out and was bleeding profusely. When I finally came to my dad was standing over me and asked me “how you feeling?” and my response was, “Did he beat Chamberlain’s record of 100?”. My dad just smiled and said, “you are ridiculous”. I still have bump on my head reminding me of how great the Black Mamba really is and I will always cherish the scar.

  45. My favorite Kobe experience is The Night I Didn’t Meet Kobe. We’d shot a wedding for a couple who offered us four skybox tickets on a night when they were playing Toronto. I had a client who needed his work done for the next day and sadly opted out of the game. Instead, my wife, her girlfriend and our niece and nephew went. Later I’m working with the game on in the background, and of COURSE it was the night he went off for 81. And of course my forehead *still* has a dent from banging it on the keyboard of my computer . But the kids got to meet Kobe after the game, got the tickets autographed and had a great time (they were too young then, I think, to realize what they’d just witnessed, but they were excited nonetheless). The guy’s a once-in-a-lifetime athlete, and I love watching him and I treasure my ability to watch him in his prime.

  46. ” hey man how you holdin up?”; ” Hey Alton I heard the news, r u ok?” “Hey, don’t let it get to you…” .
    These messages along with about 6 phone calls were sitting on my phone when I woke up one morning at a football camp at Michigan State. First thought…..oh no, grandma?….. second thought….. Kobe? While calling my mom I ran down to the lobby to look at the TV. Then I heard on the TV the worse news I could possibly hear. Kobe was being accused of such a henious crime that even an acquittal was guaranteed to ruin his image forever. For most people this news was somewhat… well… expected, black hoop star/white maid, but the news hit me like a semi-truck. With a league full of tatooed, baggy pants wearing thugs, Kobe was one of the only young black athletes that young black males (such as myself) could look up to. I admired him not because he could destroy any one in the league one on one, but because he stood for something and maintained a sqeaky clean image that not even Obama could touch. His character resembled those such as Magic, Malone, and reggie Miller. He held the image that the NBA was to model for the future.

    My family and friends sympathized with me as if I lost my best friend because they knew the magnitude of the situation. They knew it was more than just a basketball player to me.
    Allthough I had faith that Kobe was not a criminal, I still could not understand how this could happen. For about a year I hated Kobe’s guts. how could he do that to me, and those who looked up to him. Then one day I made a mistake of my own and realized that even a guy like me is not above making mistakes.

    I now look at kobe in a different light. Not so much as a hero for young black males everywhere, but as a survivor. When we hear kobe’s name 50 years from now it wont be for him being a criminal but for him being one of the greatest basketball players ever. People can say whatever they want to say about kobe but Kobe has taught me a valuble lesson. People aren’t remembered for their mistakes but for how they respond to those mistakes.

    As corny as it sounds, I feel like Kobe has helped me overcome what I thought would be my defining moment in life. I am now 22 years old and a couple months shy of earning my Masters in Criminal Justice. People who know me now know me for being smart and outgoing.

  47. I never met Kobe but I’ve been to a couple of Lakers games. I just really admire the man for his toughness and his perserverence. I have never seen any athlete MJ Magic, Bill Russell, the list goes on with the competiveness or will to win that this man has. No other athlete has ever played and been plagued with so many injuries and still play… Come on ya”ll…. As far as I am concerned Kobe is the greatest athlete that has ever been born!