On the Death of Kobe

DATELINE: Another Legend’s Reaction?

On the heels of one horrific and unexpected death of a sports legend, all too soon, we were left wondering about immortality and life here and now.

We were not alone in this philosophical moment. Among the many testimonials to the life and energy of Kobe Bryant, we were struck by the heart-felt message of Boston Celtic Jayson Tatum. He posted a picture of himself, as a mere six-year-old with Kobe. His latest mentoring came only before the season began.

He is devastated and perhaps will be for the remainder of his days.

The second figure who jumped out of the plethora of sad comments were those by Tom Brady.

Perhaps they never met, but in all likelihood, they did. Legends have a way of crossing paths—even for a moment.

Brady now 42 is a year older than Kobe. He is still playing and Kobe had retired to spend time with his family.

Talk has centered on Brady’s free agency—leaving New England, finding big money, and starting anew and renewed. Yet, now, we wonder if he saw photos of Kobe with his daughter who also died in that senseless crash.

If any incident can alter the future, this one may have an impact on Brady. He had dismissed retirement—but now it looms as the omen, augur, and warning. He too has a small daughter. He too is sacrificing time with them to play his game.

Now, he may have come to the crossroads with Kobe again. Should Brady retire and spend time with his children, not knowing what the future will offer him?

That serious and sobering thought may now be weighing heavily on another legendary sports star.

Shadows of the Great Lakers/Celtics Rivalry Appear One Last Time

DATELINE: HUMOR!

With three feet of snow hanging over the TD Garden in Boston, the last epic battle of dinosaurs of the NBA took place.

The blizzard apocalypse loomed large as the greatest stars of a decade may be meeting in their respective roles. Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant, and Steve Nash, gathered at the watering hole as the asteroid was pending.

Age and injuries, trades and retirements, would bring the great rivalry of the Lakers and Celtics to the end of another cycle. The Mayan calendar has nothing on the end of days for these two storied franchises.

Their battles have wrought ratings bonanzas for the NBA and television for several generations.

Now the lumbering old dinosaurs seem to know the clock is ticking. The La Brea Tar Pits may be back in Los Angeles, but the stars were staggering in Boston like they were stuck in mud.

Young guns that might match up, like Rondo and Howard, are injured, lessening the impact of a passing of the torch. Sullinger and Gasol are also on the shelf.

The ominous and heavy atmosphere will soon drop the hammer of tons of snow and hurricane force winds to bring down the curtain on the Celtics-Lakers rivalry for the early years of this century.

White out conditions will soon blind us, and the shadows of greatness will become indistinct as their playing time winds down.

The Lakers and Celtics will not meet again in the NBA Finals, but the finals are here, whether we chose to recognize them or not.