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Dear Kobe...

Updated: Feb 1

How do you put into words how much someone, that you've never met means to you? How much that person has had a profound effect and influence in your life? As I sit here today writing this, with a heavy heart, I find it hard to put down exactly how devastated and hurt I am that Kobe Bryant tragically lost his life. But we didn't just lose Kobe, the world also lost 8 other people

Sarah Chester

,

Payton Chester

,

John Altobelli

,

Keri Altobelli

,

Alyssa Altobelli

,

Ara Zobayan

,

Christina Mauser

and even more heartbreaking Kobe's13 yr. old daughter Gianna. This is one of the most horrific accidents I've ever seen.

You know I've seen many celebrities pass in my life and while some have made me sad, none has affected me the way Kobe's death has. I know it's not just me that's dealing with this loss, we all have been affected emotionally, and none more so than his wife Vanessa and their 3 other children. I can't even imagine the heartache that those 4 are going through and my heart goes out to them, they're in my prayers everyday. It's really beautiful and bittersweet the way this has brought all of LA together. Watching people gather at Staples Center to pay their respect and seeing how much he meant to not only LA but the world, is unlike anything I've ever seen.

I couldn't think of anyway to put my feeling down so I thought I would write this as if it was a letter to Kobe.

Dear Kobe,

I know we've never met, but you have been such an important part of my life and you never knew it. From the moment you came to LA in 1996 ,to the day you left us, I always admired you. As a young kid I used to watch basketball games with my dad, and even though Jordan was my favorite player at the time, you quickly won me over. As an LA kid born and raised you became like a superhero to myself and the entire city. Your skills were unmatched and watching you play were some of the greatest memories I have with my dad. You see my dad passed away in 2006, and while we always had our differences, basketball was something we always bonded over. Losing him was one of the hardest things I've gone through in my life. It led me down a path of self destruction that would take me years to recover from.

Through it all I never stopped watching basketball, and when you won those titles in 2009 & 2010, I knew my dad was with me watching those games. Anytime I watch a game I feel like he's sitting right there with me and you area huge part of the reason why. Those dark times I spoke of brought me to the brink of death, but once I climbed out of that darkness, I used you as an example of how to strive for greatness. Your "Mamba Mentality" has helped me go after my dreams and taught me that with hard work and perseverance, anything is possible.

You have given myself, and the world so many great memories. I will never forget that day when you announced your retirement or when you capped off your illustrious career with that 60 point game. But it's what you did after retiring that has really had a profound effect on me, it was your love for you family and what a great dad you were. I also have a young daughter, who's the reason I want to be a better man every day I wake up and you helped set a great example.

I'll never forget the morning I found out the news that you passed, I couldn't believe it was real. I searched the news to see if it was true, the minute I realized it was my heart sank. As we learned Gigi was there with you, I nearly lost it. I looked at my daughter and held her close. I know we're never promised today and that life is short, but I still can't believe you're gone.

All of you on that helicopter, we're taken entirely too soon. But I know that you're al in a better place. I will continue to hold you family and those of the rest of the families of those on board in my prayers.

Thank you Kobe for all the years of inspiration and for the motivation you're work/word give me on a daily basis.

R.I.P.

Mamba4Life.

-Ryan

“Those times when you get up early and you work hard, those times when you stay up late and you work hard, those times when you don’t feel like working, you’re too tired, you don’t want to push yourself, but you do it anyway. That is actually the dream. That’s the dream. It’s not the destination, it’s the journey. And if you guys can understand that, then what you’ll see happen is you won’t accomplish your dreams, your dreams won’t come true; something greater will.” - Kobe Bryant

Once again, I didn't do this for any other reason than to put my feelings down in writing. It's the only way I know how to get this out. Again my heart goes out every single person that has been affected by this. We can't let this get us down, we need to do what Kobe would want all of us to do, carry on his legacy and always strive for greatness. Always have that Mamba Mentality!

With that I'll leave you with this quote that seems really fitting right now

“Be sad. Be mad. Be frustrated. Scream. Cry. Sulk. When you wake up you will think it was just a nightmare only to realize it’s all too real. You will be angry and wish for the day back, the game back, THAT play back. But reality gives nothing back and nor should you.” - Kobe Bryant

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