KOBE BRYANT, FATHER, FRIEND, HUSBAND AND LEGEND a Personal Heartwarming and Inspirational Message

By Nolan Apostle
Contributing Editor
Event City Premier Magazine

Kobe-WasSup

“Heroes come and go, but legends are forever”

This is dedicated to the family and close friends of Kobe Bryant, as well as his daughter Gianna “Gigi”, the 7 others on the helicopter, and to the man who I call a legend, KOBE BRYANT. I’m sad and unfortunately like most of you, heartbroken when the helicopter crashed in Southern California yesterday morning. I know it doesn’t help to think of anything you read right now as a dedication, or a memorial, or anything else, it is simply a sad tragic circumstance. One might say this is a dedication to Basketball, as well as Kobe’s personal dedication to the sport and life itself. As much as Kobe loved basketball, he loved life just as much.

After all, Kobe played the game fiercely, like no other, and that was part of who Kobe Bryant was to his fans, his team and even his nemesis. This is not any kind of an interview or excerpts from interviews, it’s not a personal story of the time I met Kobe for a heartbeat, or anything like that. It’s all about a serious man, as serious a basketball player you can find anywhere, and also a very serious warm and gentle soul. Serious about his love for people and helping them grow. Kobe was all of that and so much more. It’s about his Short Film, “Dear Basketball”, an animation created from a poem he wrote. That’s the Kobe I want to share with you as well.

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My story and basketball is really quite simple. I never really liked basketball. What seems like forever, I tried and tried and tried to play the game, and just could not even come close to being even just ok. It just wasn’t my game. 7th and 8th grade, my good friend, Clyde Amaral was a genius when it came to the game. Serious about basketball, nothing else, but he sure was about basketball, and boy was he good. He always volunteered me to scrimmage with him, one and one’s, all that stuff. I couldn’t make a shot for the life of me, lots of airballs, I’d be lucky to get one out of ten, and if I got a swish, I was ready to celebrate, like I mean let’s throw a party for everyone on the court! By the way, my friend Clyde, he was a couple inches shorter than my 5’6″ frame, go figure! As much as I may not have been a fan of the game, something changed my life forever when it came to basketball, my Mother.

My Mom was born and raised in Nicaragua, Central America, in Nicaragua basketball was the game and she absolutely loved it! I’ll never forget the time we walked to the park near our home in Daly City and she played basketball with me. I wanted to be so good at the game, but it just wasn’t going to happen. But she did influence me to keep trying and to never give up. To this day, I never turn down a game of hoops. My Mom had this stubbornness about her to keep on going. In her own way she influenced me in that same way, and I didn’t even know it until years later.kobeDang

The philosophy of sports celebrities, their drive, their influence and their will to keep going and to “win” was something I took from my Mother, and my Father (who was a boxer and loved basketball too), as well as many sports figures I’ve admired over the years – Rocky Marciano, Jerry Rice, Tiger Woods, Mohammed Ali, Joe Montana, Chi Chi Rodriguez, Freddie Apostoli, Shaquille O’Neal, Willie Mays, Arnold Palmer, Bart Starr, Nolan Ryan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Jake LaMotta, and of course, Kobe Bryant. Kobe was not one to just talk the talk, let’s write a book and move on, but he lived and practiced everything he preached. When he left the NBA he was already working on becoming an investor. He wasn’t just talking about plans, he had them all worked out. He founded a Venture Capital firm, invested in many different areas, a popular Beverage company, BodyArmor, the online legal company LegalZoom, several technology based investments including Epic Games, the maker of the smash hit “Fortnite” and much more. As a business and a family man, I was always intrigued and inspired by Kobe’s activities and his ability to balance life and all that it offered to him. He always seemed to be such a friendly, approachable, warm and sensitive human spirit with an endless ear to ear smile! I am told that no matter what he was doing or working on at any given time he always thought of ways to inspire and to influence, always seeking to be positive. 

Kobe founded Kobe Studios in early 2013 to expand into the world of Hollywood and his creative film efforts. Later he renamed the business Granity Studios, as a Costa Mesa-based multimedia production company. Granity has pursued online media, book, podcast, television and film projects having a special place in his heart for stories that, as it says on his website pair education and inspiration.

“I love, love, love storytelling,” Kobe said in the latter part 2015. “I love framing stories that inspire. I love educating in a very creative way. I love putting pieces of the puzzle together.”

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Granity’s most recent film project and certainly its most well-known effort was a 5 1/2-minute animated short that Kobe wrote and produced called “Dear Basketball.” It was based on a poem with the same name that Kobe wrote to announce his retirement. Dear Basketball is this writers influence to dedicate this article to Kobe and his family. Who he was, who he became and will forever be in our hearts. Dear Basketball was scored by five-time Oscar-winning composer John Williams, and won the Academy Award for best animated short in 2018. It is an exemplary film that is as inspirational as any film I’ve ever seen. It touches the heart but now, with true heartbreak, and at times massages your soul knowing that Kobe may be gone but his influence, kindness and love will live in us forever.

“As basketball players, we’re really supposed to shut up and dribble,” Kobe said in his acceptance speech, “But I’m glad we’re doing more than that.”

Dear Basketball Trailer from Dear Basketball on Vimeo.

 

There are two versions of Dear Basketball. Both are beautifully done but with very different styles. The version appearing above is the main film trailer that has Kobe narrating the Animatic. The original link was removed due to an overwhelming amount of visits. The other one (the link below) is the version created for the Oscars Award Presentation. These films are as captivating as one might imagine. Produced with stunning expectations of the current reality, a sadness echoing from the words delivered by Kobe himself in the above animatic version. It’s short and must be watched in a quiet environment for the full 4 minutes with a full box of tissue. I’ve watched both films several times, here’s the OSCAR version, it’s hard to not tear up with either one. 

What are my final thoughts about this tragedy and Kobe. I choose to not have any final thoughts. I hope to continue to learn about who he was and his greatness, and drive and ability to meet challenges and continue in his life. Most importantly, I see Kobe as a leader of men, of his peers, and to continue leading them, all of his friends in basketball, football and all professional sports. In the world of business and finance. If anything positive might come from Kobe leaving us so premakobeNiceSmileturely, it is for all of them, all of us, to follow his lead, to plan ahead, to know once you leave the game, or make those life changes, know your next steps and have your direction in place to start all over again.

5, 4, 3, 2, 1…  Rest In Peace MAMBA