The death of Kobe Bryant and his 13 year old daughter Gianna – along with the other seven people on that fatal crash – has had an impact on the San Quentin community as whole.
Many within the population wanted to offer their condolences and say a few words about the man known as “The Black Mamba.”
“Kobe is the Jordan of my generation, someone I idolized growing up. After I watched him on TV, I would go outside and emulate his moves on my brothers,” said Montrell McDuffie, an All-Madden Flag Football player housed at The Q.
James Metters stated, “Kobe’s death is a wakeup call that death can happen to anybody, at any time, poor or rich. That we should live everyday happy and healthy.”
Salvador Clement from Southern California offered his thoughts. “It’s a big lost for his wife. She lost two persons that she loved. What makes it worse is the media is still talking about the accident. I send my prayers to the family of those who lost their lives.”
Greg Eskridge, one of the founders of KALW 91.7 and a former SQ Warriors power forward, said “I’m a diehard Laker fan, and what Kobe did for the Lakers organization and city of Los Angeles, for the NBA – at home and internationally – as well as being the type of family man and a father? My heart is raw in its emotion for his family and children. We lost some great role models in that helicopter crash.”
Trevor Byrd, a former SQ Kings, Giants and A’s player said, “I’m a post playing career Kobe fan. What he did for the league away from the game, he was huge in China. He is a global icon, on the level with Jordan, Magic and Barkley when you think of it.”
Many of the men here at The Q spoke about Kobe as a father.
Vaughn Reid offered, “I believe that his demonstration of fatherhood was very good. I recognize him to be completely involved in the development and nurture of his girls.”
Golden State Warrior fans at The Q had kind words and memories as well.
Wilson “Well Built Will” Nguyen, guard for the SQ Warriors, stated “He was one of the greatest. What’s really sad for me is that his daughter won’t get a chance to live a long life. That has got to hurt.”
“The Black Mamba is in the top 5 of the NBA’s all-time greats, he was a bad boy,” Wayne Tariq Mobley said enthusiastically. Mobley is a Bulls fan.
“Kobe’s untimely passing felt like a close and personal death that deeply moved my spiritual consciousness,” a New Orleans Pelicans fan stated.
Joshua Griffin stated “Baseball is my sport, but I definitely know the Black Mamba.” After a pause, he offered an afterthought: “Legends never die.”
Whether one was a Kobe fan, or a basketball fan, it’s clear that the impact of the man that Magic Johnson has deemed “The Greatest Laker Of All Time” has transcended his sport and was revered as a global icon.
Dennis Jefferson was reflective in his thoughts. “Kobe said in an interview that basketball is what he does, no who he is. This affected me because it made me realize that I’m bigger than the crime I committed.”
—By Contributing Writers