I was always on the opposite team of Kobe.

I chose the rivals from the San Antonio Spurs around the turn of the millennium, when I started to watch the NBA. I chose them over the Los Angeles Lakers, because I thought the style was too selfish – especially from Kobe bryant’s side.

A decade later, when I myself was stopped and instead become a coach, I drove so in the bus to the nordic championships in Stockholm and had to kill time. A coach colleague asked if I wanted to see the documentary ‘Kobe Doin’ Work.’

the Documentary, from 2009, shows the Lakers-the legend great passion and team spirit. Photo: Hans Deryk/Ritzau Scanpix

I saw it, and changed my perspective.

as it often happens when you teach people to know better.

He was really there for his teammates and studied the game as few others were able to. His videosessioner with the legendary Phil Jackson was so inspiring.

Not just for a young coach who had to learn some roots from Åbyhøj to play, but also purely human.

At the end of Kobes career I put more price on him. Creativity and spilforståelsen. He was exercising, which style of play reminded most of Michael Jordan, who I consider to be the greatest ever. Unstoppable in attack and overrraskende good in defense, when he priority it.

When he saw the would have to say the final goodbye to the NBA back in 2016, I decided to stay up till late at night.

The absolutely right decision.

bryant’s 60 points was the perfect end to his career. Photo: Gary A. Vasquez/Ritzau Scanpix

the Bell too early I jumped in the living room for the last ten of his 60 points. He had shot 50 times in the fight, which is an absurd amount.

He shed a tear when it was all over, but I cried thousands of miles away.

So everything that I had liked from the beginning, was okay with the time, for I was aware how LARGE he was.

‘Mamba Out’ was the last line, when Kobe Bryant said goodbye to the audience at the Staples Center. Photo: Jae C. Hong/Ritzau Scanpix

Earlier in the day, where it came to light that he was dead, I had discussed with some friends, whether it was really so big a story that LeBron James had surpassed Kobe as number three on the historical scoring list. They saw it as obvious, now, when LeBron had come so far.

I was just about to express that Lebron could have come to the wrong place the day before and not reached it, and so would his place in history might be different. I did not, for it is a terrible thought.

a Little later, was the terrible reality for Bryant. I was totally in shock when my colleague called me and told it.

Kobe has had its scandals. Accused of rape back in 2003, when he ended up with not to confess, but to apologize, and the matter was dropped.

His feud with teammate Shaquille O’neal was also not gender, and the two could have driven it much more if they had been able to agree.

Bryant and O’neal won championships together, but it could have been much more. Photo: Lucy Nicholson/Ritzau Scanpix

But Kobe was better with age, and it was too early, he died. He reached more in his 41 years than most when at a full life.

I hope there is a basketballkurv a place in heaven. In that case I am quite sure that he will find it.

PS. Read Kobes own love letter to the game ‘Dear Basketball’ at the Players Tribune. You will not be disappointed.

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