GAME DAY – Game 48 – at CHA

IT’S BEEN A SAD COUPLE OF DAYS FOR SPORTS FANS AROUND THE WORLD AFTER THE SUDDEN DEATH OF KOBE BRYANT, HIS YONG DAUGHTER AND THE PEOPLE ON BOARD THAT FATAL HELICOPTER FLIGHT.

WHEN A DEATH STRIKES ANY WHERE PEOPLE REFLECT BACK ON THE PERSON WHO DIED AND REMEMBER THE HAPPY TIMES. AS A KNICK FAN MOST OF MY MEMORIES OF KOBE WERE NOT THAT HAPPY. BUT I CAN SAY AS A BASKETBALL FAN KOBE BRYANT WAS ALWAYS MY FAVORITE NON KNICK. WATCHING HIM COMPETE AT THE HIGHEST LEVEL WAS ALWAYS A JOY AS LONG AS HE WAS NOT PLAYING US.

I REMEMBER THE 1998 ALL STAR GAME AT MADISON SQUARE GARDEN WHERE A YOUNG KOBE BEAN BRYANT PUSHED MICHAEL JORDAN AND PLAYED AT A LEVEL USUALLY RESERVED FOR SEVENTH GAME FINALS. I WAS AT THAT GAME AND IT WAS A MEMORY THAT WILL LIVE FOREVER. BOTH PLAYERS STEPPED UP AND JORDAN ENDED UP WINNING GAME MVP PLAYING MOST OF THE GAME WITH THE “FLU”. WHICH AT THE TIME WAS CODE FOR JORDAN WAS UP ALL NITE PLAYING POKER AND SMOKING CIGARS UNTIL EARLY MORNING OF THE GAME. A YEAR LATER JORDAN “RETIRED” TO PLAY BASEBALL FOR TWO YEARS.

KNICKS WERE DECENT IN 1998 BUT EWING WAS ON THE DECLINE AND YOU JUST KNEW THE TIME OF CHANGE WAS COMING. LITTLE DID WE KNOW THAT THE 1999 STRIKE SHORTENED YEAR WE WOULD GO ON AN EPIC RUN TO THE NBA FINALS. WE WERE ALSO ON THE CUSP OF THE JAMES DOLAN ERA AT MSG.

MY LAST MEMORY OF KOBE WAS SATURDAY NIGHT WATCHING THE SIXER/LAKER GAME WHERE LEBRON PASSED KOBE ON THE ALL TIME SCORER’S LIST. KOBE WAS SITTING COURT SIDE WITH HIS YOUNG DAUGHTER WHO SEEMED TO LOVE THE GAME JUST AS MUCH AS HER DAD. IM SURE DEEP DOWN KOBE THOUGHT HE COULD STILL BE OUT THERE COMPETING. I WOULD NEVER BET AGAINST HIM.

KOBE WAS TAKEN FROM US WAY TOO EARLY BUT LIFE GOES ON. JUST REMEMBER TO CHERISH THE ONES AROUND YOU AND THE MOMENTS YOU HAVE. IM GLAD THE NBA CHOSE TO CONTINUE TO PLAY ON SUNDAY AS MANY GREAT MOMENTS OR REMEMBRANCE CAME OUT DURING THE DAY. TONIGHT WE HAVE A GAME AGAINST MICHAEL JORDAN’S TEAM. I AM SURE HIS TEAM WILL BE READY TO GO AND COMPETE AT THE HIGHEST LEVEL HOPEFULLY THE KNICKS WILL BE AS WELL TODAY AND EVERY DAY GOING FORWARD.

THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES KOBE. LETS GO KNICKS.