Another Viewpoint Banner, Tim Lacy

By Tim Lacy

The NFL Pro football game took a back seat when breaking news informed viewers that NBA Superstar Kobe Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. on Jan. 26. 

It hurts me to report this, although my relationship with Bryant was hot and cold, and we never met. I was just a fan with an opinion. My first experience with the phenomenon that was Kobe Bryant, was watching him run across my TV screen when he was a rookie. At that time, I was a Lakers fan and eventually a Kobe fan. 

Those were the days, when he and Shaquille “Shaq” O’neal donned their Batman and Robin costumes and lit up the NBA night after night. I loved Bryant until he decided Shaq was getting too much attention. The result of this quiet feud was Shaq being traded to the Miami Heat. My loyalties went with Shaq.

Shaq teamed up with Dwayne Wade and won a few championships, meanwhile Bryant was on a sinking ship.

Bryant gained my support once again when he was accused of rape. Some of the evidence in his favor was not admitted, but I had hope for him and joined the fans in his corner.

Bryant spent his time logging frequent flyer miles between court appearances and games. When the chargers were dropped, I exhaled a sigh of relief as though I had been in the hot seat with him. As with everything else, time took away the stench and his legacy emerged unscathed.

A few years later, the Lakers’ stock had fallen and Kobe wanted to be traded. He abruptly changed his mind when LeBron James drafted and suited up in Lakers’ Gold and Purple. 

Bryant recently retired and was spending time between being a husband, dad, and an advocate of both womens and mens basketball. When the accident occurred, Bryant and his daughter Gianna, 13, and seven others were on their way to a basketball tournament. There were no survivors.

May God bless them!