Force Be With You (Ode to Kobe)

     There is a force that separates ordinary men from legends. Some say that this force is due to a strong work ethic; others may say that it is due to determination and luck. The majority normally chalks it up to abnormally awesome ability. All three are true but they are all by-products of a single belief, the belief that I am meant to be the best and I am willing to work to prove it. This all encompassing belief of one's greatness, combined with a heart of action, separates those who play the game and those who become the game and transcend the hall of legends.

     This belief varies among winners and champions but to those who become legends, it is extremely strong. So strong, in fact, that this belief becomes a driving force. This driving force makes the beholder deaf to doubt, blind to brick-walls, numb to naysayers, and equips them with a distaste for defeat and a nose for opportunity.

     This force is seldom spoken of but can easily be seen. It is with those who consistently show up first to the gym and the practice field. The force blesses them with a calmness in the final seconds to do the impossible. It propels players to break records and achieve as many accolades and titles as possible.

     From this day forth, this force shall be called the Kobe Force. For two generations, Kobe was the face of winning. Those who were born in the early 80's and mid to late 90's were blessed to see and appreciate this force at work. Kobe defined the difference between a great player and a champion. There were many great players in the game but, due to the force of Kobe, they did not achieve the goal of championship. How many teams has Kobe sent home empty-handed? How many players have heard the words "if only Kobe didn't....you would have won"?

     The time has come for the future generations to capitalize on the Kobe force to excel to greatness by working hard, studying their craft, and being relentless. Most importantly, they must be a team player. Actions speak louder than words, and numbers don't lie. Kobe was a true champion, and like all champions, he had to be great team players. Teams win championships, not players. Being a student and possessing the ability to be coached allows for a great player to work within the confines of a team.. To the future I say, "Let the Force be with you."

VA the Governor

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