Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie and the rest of the NBA family shared their grief over the tragic loss of Kobe Bryant.
Dinwiddie, a native of Los Angeles, native grew up idolizing the “Black Mamba,” so much so that he wears Kobe’s #8. After the news broke, Dinwiddie choked up while recalling a conversation with the NBA legend last month. After Dinwiddie was not included among the 2020 All-Star Game starters, Bryant told him, “You’re an All-Star in my book.”
Spencer Dinwiddie tears up talking about his interaction with Bryant last month. Said Kobe told him he’s an All-Star in his book, so he doesn’t care if he gets selected. He will always have that. pic.twitter.com/FYmCpzPsWw— Alex Schiffer (@Alex__Schiffer) January 27, 2020
Bryant, 41, and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, were among nine people killed in a helicopter crash Sunday morning in Calabasas, California. This came the morning after LeBron James passed Bryant for third on the NBA all-time scoring list.
Both Kobe and GiGi were in attendance to see the Nets play the Atlanta Hawks in Brooklyn on Dec. 21. GiGi to see her favorite player and mentor Trae Young, and Kobe connected with the veteran player, including Vince Carter and Kyrie Irving, the latter of whom heard the tragic news and left Sunday warm-ups, never returning to the floor.
Dinwiddie soaked up that December experience and shared his excitement of the conversation with Bryant to reporters that night. “(Kobe’s) career was basically my childhood,” Dinwiddie said. “I was juiced. It’s probably why I missed the first three off the backboard, I ain’t going to lie to y’all.” When it was all over, Dinwiddie showed off his “Mamba Mentality” going off for a season-high 39 points in front of Bryant.
Proudest moment in my career. RIP https://t.co/JdcroSSwH0— Spencer Dinwiddie (@SDinwiddie_25) January 26, 2020
Kobe Bryant’s love of Basketball is just like the one shared by Spencer Dinwiddie. As best described in Bryant’s words before retiring in 2015.
From the moment
I started rolling my dad’s tube socks
And shooting imaginary
In the Great Western Forum
I knew one thing was real:
I fell in love with you.
A love so deep I gave you my all —
From my mind & body
To my spirit & soul.
As a six-year-old boy
Deeply in love with you
I never saw the end of the tunnel.
I only saw myself
Running out of one.
And so I ran.
I ran up and down every court
After every loose ball for you.
You asked for my hustle
I gave you my heart
Because it came with so much more.
I played through the sweat and hurt
Not because challenge called me
But because YOU called me.
I did everything for YOU
Because that’s what you do
When someone makes you feel as
Alive as you’ve made me feel.
You gave a six-year-old boy his Laker dream
And I’ll always love you for it.
But I can’t love you obsessively for much longer.
This season is all I have left to give.
My heart can take the pounding
My mind can handle the grind
But my body knows it’s time to say goodbye.
And that’s OK.
I’m ready to let you go.
I want you to know now
So we both can savor every moment we have left together.
The good and the bad.
We have given each other
All that we have.
And we both know, no matter what I do next
I’ll always be that kid
With the rolled up socks
Garbage can in the corner
:05 seconds on the clock
Ball in my hands.
5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1
Love you always,