Man. Never was a Kobe fan until he dropped 60 in his last game. Then it hit me that this whole time I just didn’t get him, or his game. I was the issue in why I wasn’t a fan of his. There is nothing funny with the Mamba Mentality. Playing as hard as you can means living your life to the fullest and he proved us that during his playing years and even more so in his retirement. He wondered everybody, including me, with his calmness and content with the game of basketball, once he stopped actively playing it.
His answer to it was that he just knows that he has given it his all. He feels like he took his best shot and he can now enter the next stage of his life. As a father, coach, mentor and as a businessman. The way he was in his retirement made me reassess myself. Made me reassess how and why I was playing. Kobes style of play was “No Excuses” and that’s how all of us should live our lives. He made me stop putting my future in the hands of anybody but myself. Sure million things affect us, but he gave me the belief to just be me and the world will adjust. Greatness is not measured by a single moment. To endure is to be great. If it hurts you. Then it hurts you. What is so painful about this loss is that he was one of the leaders who lead how you should lead. By his own example. And that’s the part that makes this whole thing so much harder to grasp. Man. Been watching tribute clips all day. I didn’t cry only because of Kobe. I cried because of those who cry for Kobe. I cried for his wife and his kids. I cried for his friends and loved ones. I cried because of life and how cruel, ruthless and unfair sometimes it really is. I cried because this is a guy took on the whole world, won and somehow never lost that kid inside of him. He never lost that passion. Never lost the love. Throughout the years he has matured, but he has never changed. His essence remained unbroken through it all.
You know what’s also very hard for me to grasp? The type of waterpolo videos that got posted during this European Championships in Budapest. First of all, why was there no highlights? How am I going to be able to watch all the waterpolo games during a workday? How? You know there are people who actually work. So there is nobody who makes short clips 5-6 minutes long which give the summary of a match? Add some commentary maybe. You know I though that by promoting social media on waterpolo I would change the whole approach towards waterpolo, but basically it all remained the same mediocrity but on a different platform. Yes, some people try something on their own. The death of Kobe Bryant and the out pour of love, prayers and unity towards his family from the whole basketball community and beyond made me ashamed of my own waterpolo community. So much toxicity in the air around our sport. I don’t mean only LEN here. The real waterpolo people will understand what I mean when I say the word toxicity. It’s not only the LEN that drives our sport to the ground. LEN sets the tone, but so many weak individuals follow suit and live their lives accordingly to this narrative. They say to you that this is how life is lived. This is how you should behave if you want to achieve something in life. This is how things are. They always sell you like their way is the only way. Well I am telling you that it is not. Just because somebody has a job of giving medals, it doesn’t mean that that someone makes anybody a winner. Just because someone is a medal-giver, it doesn’t make him a winner. Through all the stuff that life puts us through, this sport gives us all some peace and sanity and if these accusation which Total Waterpolo made about the awards which were given in a manner in which they were turns out to be true… Why are we all here? What are we doing? I truly am ashamed of my sport right now. This European championship has brought waterpolo nothing and nowhere. Yes, we have a new Champion, but what else? Is that all there is to this? Somebody wins a medal and we all go home? The story just ends there? To stagnate is to regress. And waterpolo is stagnating right now.
If anybody feels offended by this, I am sorry. I don’t mean to attack anybody. We here at dance.hr just like to call it like we see it. No agendas behind it. Maybe it has something to do with Kobes passing. Maybe it has something to do with his 13 year old daughter who was on the helicopter with him. Maybe because of his wife, kids and his loved ones. Maybe because of the other seven members that passed away as a result of the same crash. Maybe because I saw so many celebrities crying when they spoke about him. I don’t know. But I do know that some stuff need to change here, and its not only LEN. If, by this point, anybody expects anything from LEN, then I really have nothing to say to you anymore. If you put your destiny in their hands. That’s not on life. That’s not on God. That’s on you my friend.
One reason why Kobe stole a piece of our hearts was his growth throughout the years. He came in as a 17 year old kid, and went away as a legend. A lot has happened in between. At some points of his NBA career coaches were saying that he is uncoachable. It is very arrogant and dangerous to think in absolutes. What was yesterday, is not today. I think that Paolo Obradovic should get called back to Croatian National Team.