I’m still processing the Kobe thing. It’s surreal.
Thing is, the NBA is not like celebrity culture. Lots of celebrities die at various ages…there’s the 27 Club, the classic accidental overdose and the car accident etc.
But all NBA players are young…they come into the league in their early 20s and most retire somewhere in their mid-30s (or leave America to play overseas). And they’re all surrounded by doctors and medical staff so nobody in the NBA really dies.
Like in the NFL there’s lots of death and suicide but that’s mostly related to CTE and the sample size is larger because the teams are bigger (there’s about 400 players in the NBA: that’s about 4 NFL teams.).
In the NBA Bill Russell was 100 years old when we started watching Jordan in the mid-80s and yet he faithfully comes out every All-Star Weekend. You know we’re gonna see him in a couple of weeks.
Magic has tested positive for HIV…yeah right. He looks healthier than most people I know.
There’s a couple of smaller and dark examples: Robert Tractor Traylor died in 2011 from a heart attack; Len Bias in 86 he coulda been something special we’ll never know but nothing like this.
The NBA is death free. To be an NBA fan we get together for NBA games and documentaries and Nike commercials and All-Star games but never for funerals.
And it’s Kobe too. Bobby Hurley had a devastating car accident but survived and never played again. Mookie Blaylock was on life support after his car accident but he was retired by then and he got well enough to serve time in jail (did not see any of that coming!). These are not big names had they died most people would just shrugged. Who? (Mookie was cool back in the day…that’d be a sad one!)
The whole thing is so weird. And sad. The poor mom who must bury a kid…that’s never a good thing. While we gotta bury a god or a superhero: pick the metaphor you’re comfortable with.
Truth: I hadda take Monday off…I can’t deal with people’s nonsense right now.
Picked up a bag of Doritos Sweet Chili Heat and a 2 liter bottle of Coke and I’m out. Stayed home with my emotions.
It’s so hard because this current crop of NBA players watched Kobe: these are Kobe’s kids not Jordan’s kids.
They knew Kobe, trained with Kobe, and watched him play. So everybody is just devastated.
I follow…well followed Kobe on social and yeah his daughter seemed she was on her way. She had a decent jumper.
Sigh. I dunno.
This is such an odd NBA year…we kick off losing Kobe and in June the Jordan-Bulls doc The Last Dance drops on Netflix. It’s just an odd recognition of all that we’ve seen. We’ve lived through some fierce battles.