Indiana Pacers fans admire basketball. That same passion for the game is what bridged the gap between the Hoosier state and Kobe Bryant.
Often, the heroes that we admire the most dazzle and amaze us, for Indiana Pacers fans, sometimes those heroes are found in basketball.
There is a multitude of heroes of the hardwood with highflying dunks and awe-striking plays to astound us as fans, but few did it like Kobe Bryant.
He showed us through grit, an indeterminable amount of work ethic and dedication to your craft that anything in life is attainable.
A few years ago, the Pacers had an adage that carried them through the season, “In 49 states it’s just basketball but this is Indiana.”
That passion for basketball bridged the gap between Hoosiers and Kobe Bryant.
On Sunday, you could hear a small part of Indiana’s heartbreak in unison. The ripples of such a painstaking loss could be felt across the world.
Hours upon hours of coverage have been displayed throughout numerous television stations while social media has been filled with posts of heartbreak, disbelief, and remembrance.
Like the rest of the world, Hoosiers all across the state remembered Bryant as a fearless competitor and relentless worker.
Indiana often referred to as the cradle of basketball, shared a kinship with the man that loved the game every bit as much as we do.
Regardless of the purple and gold that Bryant wore night in and night out, his devotion and compassion for the sport helped unite fans from Indiana to Los Angeles and the rest of the globe.
On countless occasions, Bryant hit buzzer-beaters and shots that have made fans fall deeper in love with his ability to play the game.
When you are a fan of the game, we all want to be the one taking that final shot at the buzzer.
We want to bask in the glory of knowing that for those fleeting moments we are at the pinnacle of basketball lore.
The backdrop of Indiana has been painted with basketball hoops in driveways and nailed to barns with boys and girls working on their craft until the sun goes down, practicing time after time that always concluded with a jumper as the clock expires.
For so many, Kobe’s work ethic and passion for the game was what made fans gravitate towards him.
The stories and anecdotes of the endless nights in the gym and early mornings in the weight room make up just a fraction of his illustrious 20-year career. It is the stuff of legends and the same fabric of a passion that can bond us all.
The drive that number 24 showed us, is the same mindset that inspires the boys and girls that play today.
It’s the same mentality that mothers and fathers working late hours to provide for their families have. We all carry a passion that we have that same insatiable need to be the best, no matter the craft.
Kobe Bryant showed us that with the right amount of drive that anything is attainable.
The world lost a hero on Sunday and while that day and so many moving forward will be filled with a void, it will soon be restored as well look to improve with each day.