I didn’t know Kobe Bryant personally. But I knew Kobe.
I watched him break my heart as a Seattle SuperSonics fan. I watched him compete at the highest level as an athlete and be a role model for that competitive fire when I coached both youth and high school basketball over a 10-year period. And in what was becoming a dynamic second act in his life after the NBA, he was a business leader while at the same time showing that you could also be a terrific father at the same time. His tragic death – along with his 13-year old daughter and two other people – in a helicopter crash in Southern California Sunday was a tragedy. My thoughts and prayers go out to all family and friends of everyone involved.
At the same time, those same prayers go to the family of the poor woman who was shot and killed in a random act of violence in Seattle on Friday when gunfire among gang members right at rush hour by a primary bus station erupted. And then of course, there are those we love and mourn who sometimes live into their 100s and pass away peacefully, yet still leaving a hole in the hearts and spirits of those who love them.
If you regularly read this weekly missive, you know it spans more than just business. It’s about life. Kobe Bryant’s high profile death that includes his 13-year old daughter is a stark reminder about the fragility of life. It’s easy to stay in a routine that makes one think that people will just always be there and live forever. Intellectually, we know that’s not true, but in the daily routine, it sure feels that way. Even though my parents lived to what would be considered an age where death would normally occur, I wasn’t ready to see them go.
When I coached high school basketball, I picked up a phrase from a good friend and assistant coach. It was 84 for 32. This saying became our goal as a team. Here’s what it means…
A high school basketball court is 84 feet long. A game is 32 minutes. Regardless of the results of how the game is going for our team, we committed to playing hard for all those 84 feet over 32 minutes. 84 for 32 isn’t just for basketball players. It’s about life. While we don’t know how many “minutes” our game gets to last, we do have control of how “hard” we run that 84 feet up and down our own basketball court called life.
As I write this, the irony of remembering 84 for 32 on a day when an iconic basketball player was tragically killed is not lost on me. When I’m pensive about something, I write because that’s what I am, a writer. And I wanted to share these final thoughts with you…
Commit to playing 84 for 32 every day. Some of those days may it might be easy, yet for most of us humans, the majority will require discipline, thoughtfulness, and courage to compete. But it’s worth it. If Kobe lived his life like he played basketball, he lived 84 for 32. I’m committing to remembering my commitment. How about you?
Quote of the Day:
“A man who has not passed through the inferno of his passions has never overcome them.”
~ Carl Jung (20th Century Psychologist
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