by Michael P Coleman

I will not pretend to have been Bryant’s biggest fan. He was a cocky, annoying kid when he was drafted to the NBA straight out of high school. As a Detroit native, in fact, I spent most of my basketball watching time hating him and the Lakers for what they did many seasons to my Pistons. And now that I live in California, I’m all about the Golden State Warriors and the Sacramento Kings.

But few people do their jobs as well as Kobe did his. I always say if you and I could figure out the secret of how people like Bryant do what they do, and apply that key to our lives and occupations, we’d change the world. Or at the very least, we’d change our own world.

Bryant was only 41, almost 15 years my junior. When I think of the things I’ve accomplished since I was 41, my heart aches for what Kobe will never do.

As a father of two adult girls, I can’t imagine dying in a helicopter with one of them. I’m sure Bryant was too scared for Gianna to pray for himself. In those seconds, I’m sure Bryan would have traded places with the devil himself if his little one could have been spared.

And there’s Bryant’s wife, Vanessa, and his surviving children. Two of them, aged three and one, will have no memories of their father.

But in additional to mourning Bryant’s passing, I have to address some of the vitriol that was posted on social media in the minutes and hours as the story broke Sunday afternoon.

One Facebook user, who was one of the first I saw to post anything, wrote “I didn’t like Kobe, but…” before posting a link to a story about the crash. If you didn’t like him, sir, and you’ve nothing more to say about his death, why post anything? For likes? For attention?

Read MPC’s full column.

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Click here to connect with freelance writer Michael P Coleman, click here to check out his blog, or follow him on Instagram and Twitter:  @ColemanMichaelP

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