Growing Up With Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher: A Fan’s Reflective Essay Part II

KB v Fisher

I’ve never watched the NBA without Derek Fisher and Kobe Bryant as major players within the league. I suppose I’ve gotten a glimpse of what it’d be like with Bryant having been sidelined for all but six games this year with his Achilles injury followed by the ailing left knee. I’ve always told myself I won’t be able to watch professional sports the same way once my pair of childhood idols retire from it, but hasn’t that already happened with what I outlined at the beginning of this essay?

But alas, change is necessary for growth in almost every facet of life. Overcoming the fear of change, while pushing the boundaries of one’s comfort zone is the best enzyme of growth.

I’m supposed to graduate from college in six weeks, and therefore, life will indefinitely change, as it marks the official end of my adolescence and the beginning of young adulthood– or at least that’s what society tells me.

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Like it or not, the end is much closer than the beginning of Derek and Kobe’s career. In either late May or early June, Derek will attempt to polish off his career with one last shot to capture that elusive sixth ring with OKC; while Kobe will attempt to do the same in the following two seasons with the only team he’s known in his 18 years as a professional basketball player. Whether either of them reach that goal or not is of minimal importance to me now, I’m just extremely appreciative of the fact that  my two favorite basketball players have provided me with so much joy and excitement throughout a protracted period of time where everyone else’s heroes have lost all or at least a large portion of their greatness.

As Bradley Cooper says at the end of Silver Linings Playbook “the world will break your heart ten ways to Sunday. That’s guaranteed. I can’t begin to explain that or the craziness inside myself or everyone else. But guess what? Sunday’s my favorite day again.”

This Sunday will be special.

Welcome home, one last time, D-Fish, and get well soon, Mamba.

And most of all, thanks for everything, gentlemen.
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