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Kobe’s Most Important Lesson

It’s hard to believe two years ago today we lost a legend.

On January 26, 2020 a helicopter carrying Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gigi and 7 others crashed into a San Fernando Valley hillside, killing everyone on board.  The passengers were on their way to a basketball tournament when they hit bad weather, leading to the unfortunate incident.

Kobe Bryant left behind lessons and a legacy that can never be questioned.  The phrase “Mamba Mentality” was born from his drive to win, and his willingness to do whatever it took to do so.  But in my mind his most important lesson came from his experiences off the court.

Kobe’s legal issues are well documented.  In 2003 he was accused of sexually assaulting a 19-year old woman, though the case was later dropped.  Bryant publicly apologized to the woman and acknowledged her different perspective on the event.

Without question this led to the public viewing him in a different light.

To many he was no longer a budding superstar for the title-hungry LA Lakers, he was now a criminal.  But at the end of the day he was also just a man, one who used his experiences to change his life and others for the better.

Later in life Bryant became a major supporter for women’s athletics.  He would take his daughter Gigi to University of Connecticut women’s basketball games, recorded voice overs for the women’s NCAA tournament and was constantly advocating on behalf of the WNBA.

Yes, he messed up.  Yes, he made a mistake.  But Kobe taught us that you can screw up in your life and still be worthy of a second chance.

For all the great things he taught us on the court, no lesson will come close to that one.

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