It was around 6:30 a.m. ET this morning when I saw the first tribute to Kobe Bryant on what would have been his 42nd birthday. It was a simple tweet from ESPN, but as my son was played with his xylophone on the ground in front of me, I was struck in the heart by the devastating reminder of that fateful day in late January when we all heard the fateful news that Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gigi and seven other people died in a helicopter crash in California.
It's hard, even today, to get over the loss of all those people. I was concerned today would bring more of these simple, but sad, reminders of Kobe's death. But then Nike dropped a collaboration with Kendrick Lamar that changed everything. It embodies the "Mamba mentality" of being better today than you were yesterday. Suddenly things felt better after watching this.
The power of inspiration. Man, is it something else. And that's the beauty of Bryant. Even in his death, he can inspire you to get over his death, to focus on being a better version of yourself and part of that grieving process is acceptance and getting on with life. My son was a reminder of that. Don't mourn what's happened, live for what's in front of you. Or at least that's how I felt the moment I saw Nike's video.
Here are some other tributes on Kobe's birthday.
Kobe Bryant will be remembered as long as people play basketball. He was transcendent on and off the court. There will be more tributes for subsequent birthdays and anniversaries of accomplishments Bryant was part of. But as we embark on the first August 23 without Kobe in 41 years, remember what made him great and let that inspire you to strive to be better every day of your life just as Bryant did.