I apologize ahead of time if DOL cannot handle the amount of attachments. Please bare with us. I appreciate anybody that takes time out of their day to absorb my art. Like I said there's a lotttt of attachments...all that had to be personally embedded by me. I understand that the blog has some length and you may not sit and watch everything...but at some point you should take the half hour that you already do on your phone and see the things people had to say about this man....and the other parties involved.
Last night the entire NBA and internet world was celebrating current Laker, Lebron James on passing Laker legend, Kobe Bryant for 3rd place on the all-time NBA scoring list. I really hope Kobe got to see this.
Not even 15 hours later, Kobe Bryant (along with eight other people; including his 13 year old daughter GiGi) is/are (depending on how you interpret parenthesis) dead. The helicopter bringing Kobe, his daughter and seven others to a travel-league basketball game crashed in Calabasas, CA on a foggy Sunday morning; unfortunately, there were no survivors amongst those aboard.
Mere days ago (January 12th) Kobe and GiGi were going viral as Kobe went full Kobe intricately explaining exactly what was going on during a Nets-Hawks game.
Oh how quickly it can all end. This is a blog I would've never thought I'd be writing. I hate that I had to write this. Kobe Bryant joins a list of sports icons nobody wants to be on; Knute Rockne, the 1970 Marshall Football Team, Roberto Clemente, Thurman Munson, Brook Berringer, Cory Liddle, Roy Halladay and many more that have died in aviation accidents. Devastating.
There's been a lot of conflicting reports since the original news broke. My immediate reaction:
One of my most hated cliches "X, Y or Z broke the internet" was entirely valid today in the worst way possible. I've never seen my entire twitter timeline revolving around a singular event like this. Obviously he wasn't a President; but I don't think it's that crazy to say this is like my generation's JFK, in the sense of shock and sadness amongst people from every all walks of life. All while the ever important Pro Bowl was approaching kickoff! (had to sprinkle in some D+ jokes on such a somber day....but seriously wtf took ESPN so long to acknowledge the news??....here's two (2) A+ jokes before shit gets extra heavy)
Originally it was five deaths; all of Kobe's children aboard; then none aboard; oh now Rick Fox is aboard. It was absolute madness. In an era where journalist integrity is dissolving in hexafluorosilicic acid in exchange for retweets and the oh so important "credit" of being first; today we saw the dangers of posting without proper verification. Fake news city.
âIn an eerie (a word I am going to use at least 20 times in this blog) twist of fate, this ended up being Kobe Bryant's final tweet; congratulating Lebron on his historic achievement. "Move the game forward" given the circumstances is bone-chilling.
It's such a perfectly, twisted, poetic, fucked up example of how beautiful and precious life is and how quickly *fails at trying to snap* it can all be taken away. A few hours have passed since this tragic news broke. What happened today still hasn't truly set in. Kobe Bryant is dead.
âBefore I go any further to pay my respect to the Black Mamba, I would be a fool to not mention their were eight other people on this helicopter that lost their lives. Two barely teenage girls. While they may have not been five-time NBA champions, they were still human beings and their tragic, untimely deaths should not be overlooked because of Kobe's status.
Ironically, the next confirmed victim is another person with an elevated status job; a college baseball coach and father of one of the girls on the team Kobe coached and his daughter played on, John Altobell.
R.I.P. John, his wife Keri and daughter Alyssa.
As the news comes out it'll be here.
I'm doing this blog in regular frankstein fashion; the paragraphs were not written in the order you're reading them.... I just saw that tweet of Gigi and Aylssa. I'm in fucking tears right now. As a teacher (as much as I shit on it) I care about kids. Those girls could be kids I have in class. The sad thing is 13 year old kids die every day. But they're fucking gone. God damn man. The picture makes it that much more real. This is not a well written piece I am sorry but I'm just spitting. Doing this with the Grammy's on in the background is just fucking weird and kinda wrong. It's nice they've paid some respects. Music is (one of) the greatest healer.
I mean if this didn't create at least one (1) tear...wtf??
Death is a reality of life and something we all will have to deal with countless times throughout our own. It's messy. Everybody's story is different. In my life I've been pretty lucky, for the most part. Two people I went to high school with have died in the last three years. That's pretty much it for me for people I've had a relationship worth grieving about. Both were heartbreaking in their own ways and make think a lot of shit. Both were guys at times, I had been closer with and for whatever reason we lost communication. It makes both passings that more tragic. Life is really just a series of decisions. You can think about the things that seem so mundane and maybe if I had said or done something...with the butterfly effect?..... who fucking knows? But other than guys I had been friends with dying young, I've been pretty lucky. Both my parents are still alive; so is my sister. None of my close friends or immediate family have died. I only have one grandparent alive but it's one I am unquestionable closest with, As a 75 year old two-time cancer survivor you appreciate all the time you have, but know the inevitable is a lot closer than you would like. Those that I have lost have almost exclusively been expected; either old age, or a long bout with fill-in-the-illness. Lots of people I know are not as lucky. I have friends who have lost parents as early as 7 years old; friends that have lost siblings; friends that have no living parents. I feel like at least two people my mom knows die per month. It's fucked.
It's nice to see at least one person use this tragedy to let bygone be bygones.
The scene outside Staple Center; not much after the news broke and not much before the Grammys were scheduled to begin.
All deaths are sad in their own ways in a very elementary train of thought; a human life has ended. As much as some people may claim they know what happens when you die; NOBODY DOES. Even if you say you're okay with it, or accept it...Death is horrifying, terrifying, other various -fyings,
That being said not all deaths are the same. It may not be pretty to say, but we know it's true. As is popular to say some "hit different" from others.
The "as a _________fan" preface when talking about shit bigger than sports (ie. life and death) the preface is ridiculous, but sometimes necessary to tell your story. Everybody yells Kobe! Even theatre kids.
I've said it many times on the blog, twitter and most importantly, IRL; the older I get the more I see the world for how it really is. How much sports is a business and "allegiances" don't mean much. My last blog detailed how Robert Kraft saved the Patriots from moving mid-west. It's a business.
Love him or hate him; there's times of done both. Kobe showed the power of the good in sports. He simply transcended the game of basketball. Many athletes have died in my lifetime. I haven't talked to my sister or grandmother about many of them, but they know Kobe.
The death of Kobe really fucked me up, as it has to millions of other people. Sure I'm a Celtics fan when I was a sophomore in High School and in the process of graduating I fucking despised Kobe and the Lakers in those Finals, but as the years go by you mature and respect the adversaries. I hated Peyton Manning more than any human being on earth for a few years and now his ESPN+ show is legitimately my favorite show on streaming.
Although I haven't lost a ton of people close-close to me, it's something always on my mind. I'm terrified of of horrible things happening. How will I go on? What if we were in a petty fight at the time? When's the last time we said "I love you"? It's kind of fucked up, I know I shouldn't think that way, but when you have the twisted, depressed, hilarious, demented, genius, possibly on the spectrum brain of Ryan M*********** that's how it operates, baby.
Well, the years start coming and they don't stop coming; you mature. At least I have. You start to truly become "you" and gain your own moral compass. Some are similar, but everybody's is their own snowflake ;) I know who I am and what I want out of life. I know how I want to do it my own. I want to live my life my way.
Nobody did that more than Kobe Bean Bryant. He embraced who he was; a fierce competitor; dictionary definition of the word. Many may even have said "an ass-hole" before noon today. KG prob still would. Kobe was everything you wanted out of an athlete. Win at all costs. He would not have been trading jerseys after playoff games like guys do nowadays (which I fucking HATE). On the court he was a killer. Cold-blooooddeed. He was the fucking Black Mamba, for God's sake. 5 rings; one at the expense of my beloved Celtics in 2010****. 81 points. A bunch of other accolades. I said he wasn't a top 3 Laker in my Kobe Finale blog. I was dead-wrong (unintended). Kobe Bryant is face of the the 2nd most successful organization in the history of the NBA in it's brightest star studded city. Kareem wasn't a career Laker. Magic was all-time, but his career was tragically cut short because of the HIV. Jerry West went like 1-20 in the Finals and is a victim of playing before the majority of us were alive or watching the NBA.
There are teams that are greatly associated with their city, after New York and the Yankees; if not at, or above that level is Los Angeles and the Lakers. They encapsulate the vibe of the city. The perfect marriage of sport and exposure. The city of angels, where dreams come true. Mixed with basketball... the one sport where you can sit inches away from the court; where the athletes entire face is visible (Rip Hamilton withstanding), usually wearing a tank top and at times in NBA history nut-hugging shorts.
Like all humans, Kobe had his flaws. There are really shitty people who think his and eight others untimely death is an appropriate time to bring them up. The ugly side of liberals; and not to get political, why crazy people win elections.
All I know is that Kobe Bryant was beloved by his teammates, competitors, friends and family. He was the face of the Lakers, but there was sooooo much more to him than basketball. (R.I.P. have no limit on cliches) He won an Academy Award for one his short animated film "Dear Basketball" less than a year after his last NBA game.
I wrote that blog in 2016 (obviously) when DOL was a baby and my brain was still not fully developed as I was not 25 years old...please do not hold any igginess against me...I did not re-read before posting. I love Kobe.
After a pretty ugly car accident in September of 2018, Kobe jumped in as traffic cop until authorities came.
Kobe was married since 2001 and had four daughters; his youngest, Capri was born in JUNE. He was a loving family man as a father.
THIS is fatherhood. Jesus Christ, this isn't fair.
In a move that has only been seen by the Miami Heat honoring his Airness, Michael Jordan; the Dallas Mavericks announced today no Maverick will ever wear the number 24 again in honor of Kobe. A fitting gesture by one of the most respected owners in all of the big four. I would not be shocked in the least bit to see other teams follow suit; if not league wide. Kobe was such a baller he had two numbers retired for the same team.
That's what Kobe meant to not just the NBA, but American popular culture.
When the news broke I was with my family and we spoke almost exclusively about his passing for over two hours. I told them if there was a Mount Rushmore of the Stern-Era-NBA it's Larry and Magic (they're so intertwined, and this is a hard list...they count as one), Michael, Kobe and Lebron.
Not exactly Dee Gordon hitting a home run on Jose Fernandez day or the Angels combined no-no on Tyler Skaggs night emotions given the circumstances...I doubt the majority of people watching realized all the eerie nature of these numbers in Trae Young's stat line when he wore #8 Sunday night in honor of Kobe...but it's kind of like the Tim Tebow playoff stat line with the 3:16 comparisons. This is higher power type "coincidence" shit...
The love and respect Kobe has received in the hours after his death cannot be understated.
As a spread eagle, open book; I have been open about my own demons and battles. Mental health is no joke. As much as I love and appreciate life.... it's 44.4repeating of this website's name; there's been countless times where I felt like I couldn't go on. My mom (and many others) have always said suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. The ones I love are what kept me going. I've also had my close calls with death doing dumbass shit as recently as weeks ago. It's so fucking cliche and true, it all can be taken away in an instant. The Grim Reaper doesn't care how much money you have, how great of a person you are, what you've accomplished, who you are. Children get cancer, scumbags live forever. It makes you question a lot of shit. I don't know if there is a God. I hope there is for the sake of humanity because if there isn't then life literally has no meaning...other than the relationships we make with the people we love and care about. Jay Williams had one of my "favorite" clips to come out of today. He knows better than most how much life can change in the blink of an eye.
I hate to end on a negative note, but as I am authentic in all facets (that I can be) of life. Look at how shook up these men and women around the league were. It is fucking disgusting to me the NBA did not reschedule tonight's games. I get that it's tough call but again.. see my tweet.
Others' thoughts and feelings on all things Kobe and the actual NBA games played hours after his death.
I understand the logistics of the 4 pm games going on as people were already in the stadium as the news was breaking. That would've been a nightmare. But in the opinion of Ole Dozie...the NBA should not have played tonight. You can use the bs "Kobe would've wanted them to play" line...which I'll gladly concede it's probably true....sometimes it's just too much to go to fucking work in a time like this. Not to flex my historic knowledge of American professional sports but to circle back to the JFK comparison.
R.I.P. to the unnamed victims
R.I.P. to the Altobelli Family
R.I.P. Kobe Bean Bryant
August 23rd, 1978-January 26th, 2020
R.I.P. Gianna Bryant
I'll never forget Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals as long as I live. I don't mean in a play-by-play sense; in an emotional sense. What a roller coaster that night was. Does not stink anymore...but for a long time it did.
June 16th, 2010, I was was at my college orientation at URI; Five days after I graduated high school. My first and honestly, even after five years there (and v successful twitter account), one the biggest memories of my experience at URI was that very first night.
The way my orientation lined up meant that Game 7 was the night I was set to sleep in the dorms on campus. This was my biggest concern. I knew this was a possibility going into a devastating blow out in Game 6 where Perk tore his ACL early in the first quarter killing and chance the C's had that night emotionally, and in a basketball sense defensively and on the glass.
Well after a day of team building exercises...Speaking of...URI fucked up big time and placed somebody I GRADUATED HIGH SCHOOL WITH with in my orientation group. Like 15 people. Nothing against that person at all. I like her, very nice girl....this is a #URIprob (LOL) how the fuck do you manage to have two kids from the same high school.....a high school a stone's throw away from campus....in the same orientation group when there are HUNDREDS of kids there???? There must've been 20 groups AT LEAST. I think maybe five kids from my class were there.
I digress, so that night I am watching Game 7 of the NBA Finals....mind you this is 2010....Flat Screen HD tvs were not the norm; especially at cheap ass URI. I grew up upper-middle class in high school and we only got our 52' flat screen TV in early 2008. (The first major sporting event I watched on it was Super Bowl 42....I'm getting very off track as it's not past the 1 AM hour and I need to be up in < 6 hours....my who, despite an attached tweet I have a good relationship with...I'll never forget as long as I live...in my heartbreak and embarrassment of 18-1, and how it all ended on that final drive and subsequent squander of potential OT only needing a FG with 30+ seconds and all 3 time outs.....I went on our deck and took the Patriots flag down..same flag I have hanging in my room behind me as I type this...down from the deck. My dad told me to put it back up and made put it back. Says a lot about loyalty. I was heated, disgusting, every bad/angry feeling you could feel. I was a sophomore in high school and that team was my LIFE. You want to talk about living with teams as your identity..Jesus Christ...anyways...back to Game 7....) I'm watching this game in the rec room of Barlow Hall on a MAYBE 32 inch tube standard def TV with idk the exact amount of people...but it was easily over 120. 98% of us standing....all of this after a campus wide chant of Beat LA/ FUCK The Lakers. It was beautiful. I thought this was what college was going to be like for me. (Boy was I Chris Stapleton, wrong) I was so fucking pumped. What a way to start it off. The Celtics are going to win it all for the second time in three years. This summer is going to kick ass (it still did FTR). URI has a large population of NJ/NY students so mind you in this sardine packed rec room there was fair amount of people rooting for the Lakers/Kobe. They're all talking hella shit as I'm triggered AF before knowing the terminology. One of my best friends in the world was there with me and at the time we were still huge in-your-face frankly, douche bag sport fans. Lots of shit being talked that night. As the Celtics 13 point third quarter lead began to dwindle (the Warriorization of the NBA makes that lead not seem big..but mind you the game ended 83-79.....it's a huge blown lead, that I feel like has gotten slept on in the annals on NBA history...should this tweet go viral and that can of worms be opened in Kobe's untimely death; so be it) the vibe altered drastically. What made this oh, so more frustrating; Kobe didn't have a classic Kobe game. He went 6-24. Yeah, he was the leading scorer...but he only had 23 points. By no means a masterpiece. But he did what he had to win. Exactly what Kobe was all about. He's why Ron fucking Artest, the Motor City Mad Man himself, was able to get Paul Pierce to hesitate for second...AND STILL clutch again to hit the hands down, most devastating shot of my entire basketball fandom life. I honestly can say a piece of me died that night. My love for the Celtics, and that Celtics team itself would never be the same again. I'll never forget that night. Kobe was a cold blooded killer basketball player and hell of a dude off the court. I think the fact that I, Ole Dozo, spent HOURS writing this, until nearly 2 am of a fierce rival...shows just how much respect Kobe demanded. There will never be another Mamba.