I wrote this at Silver Screen and Roll:
Embracing Kobe the way I did was what solidified my confidence in being comfortable with who I was and allowed me to thrive in social situations that I would never have considered being a part of. I started college in 2005, and I made friends immediately who knew me as “that crazy Lakers fan.” I was obsessed. I knew every fact about Kobe, read and heard any interview he ever did — and in some ways started asking myself — “What would Kobe do?” It’s a dumb thing, but it’s helped me and I’m not ashamed to say that. Kobe’s mentality; his love and his passion for his craft, his “take no prisoners” attitude is not one that I can replicate, but it is one that I can try to learn from. It’s why I defended him so veraciously as he was blamed individually for the dismantling of the Shaq/Kobe Lakers — this wasn’t just about Kobe, it was about the person that I saw myself in, the person who helped me every day and didn’t know it.