“I want to see if I can. I don’t know if I can. I want to find out. I want to see. I’m going to do what I always do: I’m going to break it down to its smallest form, smallest detail, and go after it. Day by day, one day at a time.”
Happy Mamba Day to all my fellow sports fans and most importantly Laker Nation. Today is Mamba Day, 8/24. If you’re not aware that’s because those were Kobe‘s numbers in the NBA. It’s a day in Los Angeles and Orange County officially (I would guess far more than that now) to celebrate and remember what a generational talent he was, and we can only wish he were still here to celebrate with us all. I expressed my love for all things Lakers many times here and elsewhere so this post is probably not a surprise. This time around I really wanted to go at it more than I feel like I have before. I modeled the photo around a wallpaper I had seen of Michael Jordan standing over the trophies and kind of crossed it with LeBron James sitting in the confetti after the 2020 championship season. All in all I’m very happy with how it came together.
This is my personal take on things because I mean that’s what we do here, but it needs to be said because sometimes people think it’s just about the basketball side. I loved Kobe on the court, no doubt about it. But what I loved more was seeing what he was doing off of the court once he retired. He was a father of four daughters, #GirlDad took on a new meaning with him, because he used his resources and influence to make sure that girls had an equal chance to be great in sports or anything they chose as their passion. When we lost Kobe, we lost someone who believed in girls having the same as the boys, in the world we live in now, man we could use that a lot more. That’s for us to all carry on now, he started it, we can keep it going.
I promise more normal posts, and more vault posts (I’ve got a few queued up) are in the works but this one had to get done and out at the right time, and that time is today. I think I’m allowed that. But really, if you’ve known me or been around me or my home at any point you will find purple and gold in various places through the house, along with the man cave which is my sanctuary. When I need to think or work through something in my mind, I go there. Yes it’s all virtual and the like but it still feels like an escape to clear my head, sort things out, and center myself. The rest of house is plastered with motivational quotes in purple, white, and gold and they all serve a purpose. Some days you need them more than others, some days you don’t. But it’s nice to have them there when you need them.
The quote that opened this post is outside of a room that is a photo gallery type of room in my house and I put there for a reason. Every photo I shoot, or I see shot, I want to see all the little things about it. How’d the angle come about, what are the neat little things hidden in it, how did the lighting get setup. The why’s, the how’s, the when’s, the where’s, the details really. I love to see the details that people put into their photos and posts. Kobe used to do an ESPN online thing called DETAIL which had him breaking down film on various players and doing at the level that only Kobe would seem to do.
When it comes to me shooting my own photo or writing it’s always can I pull off the shot I want and if I do, how much time is too much time. For me, “detail” means I probably shoot between 10-20 snapshots, sometimes different windlights, sometimes just re-shooting the same one, because you never know what one thing might not have rezzed or where layering a backup shot under it to get the right effect is needed. Having multiple shots let’s me pick the best of the bunch and make what I see in my head happen as close as I possibly can. Some of you are thinking I’m crazy for that and you’re probably right, but we all have our processes right?
It’s extremely hard to believe that it’s now been over two years since Kobe and Gianna Bryant, John, Keri, and Alyssa Altobelli, Sara and Payton Chester, Christina Mauser, and Ara Zobayan tragically died on January 26th in a helicopter crash. I remember waking up that morning thinking it was a dream. Not a good dream either. I refused to believe that’s what I woke up to. But it wasn’t a dream, CNN made that much clear. Now I never met Kobe or knew him beyond what any basketball fan did. Kobe made me a Lakers fan. I bleed purple and gold now, but Kobe is what drew me to Los Angeles. I grew up rooting for the Chicago Bulls and Michael Jordan. Like most people in that time frame did, sorry Knicks fans and anyone else the Jordan Bulls ran through at the time.
But when the Bulls were broken up after the 1998 championship, I had no team that I really felt I loved like I had the Bulls. I knew about Kobe before that and had obviously seen him play from 1996 on, of course I was rooting against the Lakers if the Bulls played them then, but he had something special. The kind of special I had only seen in Michael. Of course when the Bulls were done, Phil Jackson moved to the Lakers and seeing a coach I respected going there, made me go this might be it. It was. The more I watched Kobe, the more in love with the game, and the purple and gold grew. It’s because of Kobe that no matter who or what happens, the Lakers will always be my team.
I could literally write on and on about all of the things that one would write about in this kind of post, but I’ve done it and I don’t want to repeat myself. I’ll post some bits of my favorite parts below, and you can read them in full in the 8/24 category and they all ring true still. The biggest thing is literally the quote below. Life is short, don’t waste, don’t put things off, and don’t take things for granted.
On Wednesday my favorite basketball player of all-time will play his final game. Kobe Bryant, after 20 season with the Los Angeles Lakers, is retiring. For me it’s crazy to think that I’ve been watching him play since I was 10 years old, but I have. I remember watching him flounder in his first season, those dreaded airballs at the end of game against the Utah Jazz. I loved that he didn’t let those failures break him.“The End Of A Basketball Era” – Lucky Spiritor, April 10, 2016
I think anytime that you root for a team or a player you form a sort of a bond to them. You may never meet them, never speak a word to them, but you feel like a part of what they or their team accomplish. You rise with them, you fall with them, you take the wins along with the losses. If you’re really a fan you’re there in the good times and bad. Now I’m not going to pretend that the Lakers have had a ton of bad times. Sure they’ve had periods of not being as successful, but at the same time they have the second most NBA championships in the history of the league. It’s reasonably easy to be a fan of them. I found myself rooting for them as the Chicago Bulls were starting off their second Three-peat of the 1990’s. In 1996 the Charlotte Hornets drafted Kobe Bean Bryant and then traded him to the Lakers for Vlade Divac. It would be the beginning of my twenty plus years rooting for them.
I remember the team blowing through the entire Western Conference playoffs, literally never losing a game 11-0. I remember the Finals as well. My brother was a big Philadelphia 76ers fan and Allen Iverson was at his peak then. Everyone, myself included, thought that LA would come in and continue doing what they had done to the West. Win. They came close but ultimately fell short, losing 107-101 in overtime. It would their lone defeat of the post season, with 15-1 (as far as I recall) still being the best post-season record in league history.
I remember Game 7 of the 2002 Western Conference Finals. It was Lakers-Kings and at the time that was a vicious rivalry. Sacramento was a very talented team but like the Jazz or SuperSonics at Michael Jordan’s peak, they found it hard to get past the Lakers. It was even more insane because they were the top seed that year which meant game 7 was in Sacramento’s building. I remember thinking the game was over as the Lakers trailed but I still sat and watched. They would prevail in the end and go on to win their third championship in a row.
I vividly remember watching Kobe drop 81 points against the Toronto Raptors in 2006. I actually have the game burned onto a DVD because it was the kind of thing you don’t see everyday. Mostly because teams can normally lock down 1 player and you usually don’t win games that way. It’s also the second most points scored in an NBA game in league history behind only Wilt Chamberlain’s 100 points scored in 1962. It was and always will remain a sight to see and I’m not sure it will ever happen again. You would think I’d have to look that up to know it, but I didn’t. I remember the game, I’ll never forget it.“24:8” – Lucky Spiritor, Febraury 28, 2020
“Have a good time. Life is too short to get bogged down and be discouraged. You have to keep moving. You have to keep going. Put one foot in front of the other, smile and just keep on rolling.”
Head: LeLUTKA.Head.EON.3.1 ~ Jaden Nova
Head Applier: STRAY DOG – GREG – LELUTKA – TONE 04 ~ Gac Akina
Hair: [MAGNIFICENT] THOR Bun – Grooming Hair – LeBarbier Alpha
Hairbase: LeLUTKA.EvoX.Hairbase.044 (BOM) ~ Jaden Nova (Comes with the LeLUTKA NOA Head)
Eyes: Avi-Glam. Glory Eyes – 703 ~ Eye Daddy
Ears: ^^Swallow^^ Gauged S Ears ~ Luciayes Magic
Beard: [MAGNIFICENT] DUCKY SKUNK – Beard – LeBarbier Alpha
Beard Layer: Volkstone Rey Facial Hair // 004 TINTABLE (BOM) ~ Daves Hexem
Body: [LEGACY] Athletic Edition (1.1) ~ MeshBody Resident
Skin: STRAY DOG – Legacy Skin – TONE 04 (BOM) ~ Gac Akina
Hand BOM: K.O.K.O.S SHOP – SEXI MAN HANDS-BOM ALL BODY. ~ Aleric Dallas
Tattoo Top: DAPPA – Reckoning Tattoo. [FADED] Lelutka EvoX. ~ Devil Fae ~ NEW @ equal10 (Aug 10-Sept 5)
Shirt: 8/24 Tank Top Legacy ~ Lucky Conundrum
Pants: <kalback> Everyday Jeans M4 ~ Patrix Beck
Shoes: [VALE KOER] ILLUMINATED SNEAKERS ~ Bob Resident
Earrings: = DAE = SXD1 ~ Naomi Darkheart
Rings/Bracelet: *RE* Aeon Bracelet & Rings ~ Crashnoww Resident
Watch: *RE* Aeon Watch ~ Crashnoww Resident