Why does it hurt? Most of us didn't know you. We didn't play against you. We just saw you on TV. Was it the five championships showing your heart of a champion that bought us? Could it have been your mentality and focus that resembled a black mamba which inspired young and old alike to try harder so they could go further? Was it possibly your legacy outside of basketball?
We feel empty. We have no words. It feels like something is missing. There is such a mixture of emotions.
Your name stuck the first time we heard it. Whether you wore an 8 or a 24, you never cheated us. You overcame obstacles and never quit. The accolades can be repeated and rightfully so, but we all know how great you were without hearing the stats. Whether it's 81 points or 60, you will live on.
Thank you for entertaining us. Thank you for inspiring us. Thank you for being you.
So, why does it hurt so much? We did know you by the way you played.
Thank you, Kobe.