Everyone is mourning about the tragic death of one of the greatest basketball player of all time - no other than the "Black Mamba", the legendary Kobe Bryant.
After his death, all of his fans remembered him as their idol inside the court for having a rare shooting skills, a tireless work ethic, fierce competitiveness, mental toughness, and creativity to become one of the NBA's greatest players.
Kobe Bryant was also known for his good heart. During a release statement on Thursday, Rob Pelinka, the Laker's vice president, basketball operations and general managers described him as a force of nature, deep and obsessed with excellence. Pelinka further remembered him as:
"He was wise, determined, passionate. A visionary beyond measure. A dedicated and loving husband and a 'girl-dad' like no other. When he walked into a room, the energy ignited. He was high voltage, with a motor that had no limits. His mind had an infinite capacity to learn. He was, simply put, the most inspirational athlete of our time. What the world may not know, is that he was also best friend anyone could ever imagine. "
But despite of having an ideal life, Kobe Bryant is still human. He committed mistakes that he, undeniably, regretted and wished he did not done.
A New York priest confessed that the famous Basketball star redeemed himself after the 2003 rape case allegation and encouraged him that there was,
"bright, redemptive light there too."
In an op-ed for CNN, Father Edward Beck recalled how Bryant was a practicing Catholic who had a serious faith while attending Mass during Sunday. He also supported several charitable causes dedicated to help youths and families in need.
But Bryant admitted having tough times as he was accused of rape by a 19-year-old hotel employee in Eagle, Colorado.
"At the time of the alleged sexual assault, in a troubling series of events, Bryant claimed that he thought the sex was consensual (even though he admitted to police that he had not explicitly asked for consent); his legal team tried to discredit the accuser by portraying her as promiscuous, and said her name in open court multiple times, and the court system leaked it to the media,"
The criminal case was dismissed after the woman's unwillingness to continue her cooperation with prosecutors. Thus, she filed a civil lawsuit against the NBA star that ended in an undisclosed settlement.
"First, I want to apologize directly to the young woman involved in this incident," he said. "I want to apologize to her for my behavior that night and for the consequences she has suffered in the past year. Although this year has been incredibly difficult for me personally, I can only imagine the pain she has had to endure. I also want to apologize to her parents and family members, and to my family and friends and supporters, and to the citizens of Eagle, Colorado."
Beck was surprised how Kobe humbly admitted his sin and replied.
"Kobe said he was sorry and took moral responsibility for his behavior and the consequences of it. While some questioned the timing of his apology — made after case dismissal — many witnessed instead a self-professed sinner who had been humbled and had recognized his need for mercy and forgiveness. And thus the redemption of Kobe Bryant began — in the eyes of God, his Church, his family and many of his fans."
Kobe was married to Vanessa Laine for two years and the couple had recently celebrated the birth of their first child when he was accused of the said rape.
The accusation has caused their relationship a damage and almost cause near divorce but Bryant fought for his marriage and continue being a good father to his children.
Kobe announced in GQ magazine in 2015 how "talking to a priest" was a turning point in his life. The renowned shooting guard recalled how the priest convinced him to "let it go."
"Move on. God's not going to give you anything you can't handle, and it's in his hands now,"
he told Kobe.
"This is something you can't control. So let it go."
"He was loved and forgiven by so many because they perceived an indefatigable man who accepted responsibility for his shortcomings,"
Indeed, Kobe's legacy proved us that excellence does not require us to be 'above of all things' but a reminder that we must know when to fight and always choose what is the 'right' even if it means you have to loose.
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