Ad Spot

Ada Fisher: Kobe Bryant goes out on top

By Ada Fisher

The shocking deaths of former NBA great Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna in an unfortunate plane crash has so stunned a nation and much of the world that for a moment in time there was a pause to try to comprehend the significance of this. What the Lord has in mind and what we are left to deal with are often hard to discern. But a couple of glaring factoids of prominence stick out.

Bryant was born to a sports gene pool as the son of former NBA caliber player Joe Bryant who raised him in Italy. He was also one of the few young successful athletes who transitioned from high school to the NBA.  He is almost assured a place in the Basketball Hall of Fame regardless of who comes after him as well as considering those who have gone before him. He also spent 20 years on one team, the Los Angeles Lakers of the NBA where he helped secure five championships in which he received two MVP awards. He was called the Black Mamba after a killer snake — such was the nature of his floor game.

Bryant was fluent in English, Italian and Spanish, which gave him an opportunity to speak with several of his colleagues in their language. It also made him somewhat of a renaissance man opening up the international arena for him.

But Bryant took it several steps beyond. He messed up and had to face 2003 charges of rape and sodomy. He didn’t lawyer up but publicly admitted to adultery. He noted his perception of this act in his victim’s mind was not one of consent. He thereby agreed to a settlement of the case. Though this action messed with his brand, he didn’t plea bargain to retain his salary or avoid blame but allowed his victim some semblance of dignity. Such forthrightness may have saved what seemed to him most important — family and honor.

Aware of the shortness of life on the court, Bryant took classes to improve his writing skills because he wanted to become a storyteller. Something stuck because he won a 2015 Academy Award for his Best Animated Short “Dear Basketball.”

He also put his money to work through the
Kobe and Vanessa Bryant Family Foundation. He was able to finance several Mamba Academies to help young people use basketball to inform their lives not just serve their ambition.

It was his family that he spoke glowingly of and though painful as it may be for his family to lose him and his daughter, Gianna’s light, though gone too soon, glimmers in the love her father had expressed for her and his wife and other daughters. As a supporter of women’s basketball, he saw for his girls the potential for greatness as should we all. Now if they would just figure out how to give them equal pay, we would climb another milestone.

Ada Fisher is a retired physician, former school board member and the N.C. Republican national committeewoman.

Comments

Local

Recreation centers keep legacy of Evans, Miller, Hall alive

Local

Candidates discuss rural internet needs at Woodleaf forum

Education

School board to look at more renewal plans, valedictorian and salutatorian honors

Education

No bond, no building: Supporters say RCCC programs would stagnate without bond issue

Business

Biz Briefs: Local hiring event to recruit military personnel

Local

High school students from across the state compete in trade skill event

Local

James Greene recounts working as one of the first black probation officers

Business

Black business owners celebrate progress in community

Elections

Ellis, Hoy campaign for increased education funding in Senate race

News

Commissioner candidates talk future of space at West End Plaza

Business

Wells Fargo to pay $3 billion to resolve probes into fake accounts

Education

RSVP to attend Hood Theological Seminary symposium in March

Nation/World

McConnell-linked group funding ads to help North Carolina Democrat

Local

Council executive says local scouting won’t be affected by bankruptcy

Lifestyle

Victory 45: Commemorating the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II

Crime

Blotter: Two arrested, charged after domestic assault in vehicle

Kannapolis

Kannapolis mayor appointed to new statewide committee

Check this out

Rowan weather: Warming up a bit

Local

Photos: Weather sprinkles Rowan County with snow

Crime

Search warrant: Cohen shown on surveillance video at time of fire

Education

Civil Rights leader visits Salisbury High, speaks to students

Education

Blackbeard exhibit comes ashore at N.C. Transportation Museum

Elections

State senate candidates square off on economic concerns, health care

Crime

Blotter: Officers witness road rage incident in Walmart parking lot, driver charged