"Kobe, Kobe, Kobe..." (Ricky Weekly #31)

This is where I share 3 things every week with my friends and anyone else interested.

A picture from my life:

I performed a standup set in SF earlier this week but also caught the flu. Not the corona kind, just the good ol’ bud light.

Thing on my mind:

Since I’m been in bed recovering from the flu, I spent the afternoon watching people cry on ESPN and revisiting vintage Kobe clips.

I moved to LA in the beginning of the Kobe-Shaq 3-peat era so Kobe was probably one the biggest things to me growing up. I watched so much Kobe from middle school all the way to the start of my career that I’m pretty sure I’ve spent more time watching him than any other athlete. So it was pretty crazy today when I heard someone screamed “KOBE DIED,” my heart almost stopped.

Reminds me of the time against the Warriors when Kobe drove and his left Achilles gave out. That moment felt crazy because here’s someone you’ve watched growing up who’s been just consistently amazing. In middle school, whenever he’d have a good game, I’d pick up the ball and run to the park to try to do the same thing. That means I went to the park almost every day. When I got older, Kobe also got older but his game stayed great. He went from afro Kobe to bald Kobe. He went from Shaq’s Robin to Mamba, and then Vino. He went from 8 to 24. From being told to pass more to everyone wanting the ball to be in his hands. I remember the TV graphic showing how Kobe had sustained a bunch of injuries and was still playing. And then poof, his Achilles gave out. We thought that was the end because we all knew the end was near, but he came back and then retired with a 60-burger just to remind us that he will go out on his own terms. Kobe is willpower personified.

And now he's gone. I was looking forward to watching him translate that willpower to things outside of basketball. It felt good to have a person that you feel like you grew up with continue to set the bar for what excellence looks like. Thanks Kobe. RIP.

Piece of content I recommend:

Women and Black Dudes by Neal Brennan

I just discovered Neal Brennan from his tribute to Dave Chappelle at the Mark Twain Award. He co-created the Chappelle’s Show and his comedy is fire. You can totally see that the Chappelle’s Show is half-him half-Chappelle.

As always, you can find out what I’m thinking in more real-time on Twitter and my essays are on my website. My latest essay is called From Socialcam to TikTok: How we figured out video social in a decade