clippers stars overwhelmed by kobe’s tragic death

kobe and kawhi
kobe and kawhi

the impact kobe bryant had on the current generation of nba superstars as a hero and mentor is gigantic. consequently, the shock of his tragic death has been hard for nba players to process. an article in the new york post by peter botte had this headline…

Kawhi Leonard overwhelmed by eerie Kobe Bryant helicopter connection

overwhelmed gives the idea that it was too much to handle. eerie is weird, chilling.

kawhi holding the kobe bryant mvp trophy for the 2020 nba all-star game

kawhi leonard won the kobe bryant mvp award last night at the nba all-star game.

botte reports that

leonard maintains a residence close to staples center, but he also travels back and forth to his home in san diego when possible.

back and forth means making a trip, then returning.


scooby and shaggy running back and forth between a witch and a monster

what has been overwhelming for kawhi leonard is that before joining the los angeles clippers last summer, he talked with bryant about the ease of traveling around southern california via helicopter. even more difficult to deal with (face), kawhi often flew with ara zobayan, the pilot of the helicopter that crashed and killed bryant, his daughter gianna and 6 other passengers. kawhi says this about zobayan

great guy. super nice. he was one of the best pilots. that is a guy who u ask for to fly u from city to city. it’s just surreal still….he will drop me off and say he is about [to] go pick up kobe, [and] kobe said ‘hello.’ or he’ll just be like, ‘i just dropped kobe off, and he said hello.’ vice versa. so it’s a crazy interaction. he’s a good dude, and i’m sorry for everybody.

pick up means go for, get, the opposite of pick up is drop off, which means leave at a destination. like is often used to introduce dialogue when sharing a story.  dude means guy.

a picture of the uber app that reads

when u set the pickup location on uber, the driver picks u up at that location. (

the article explains that kawhi…

worked out with bryant during the summer of 2018, and used his mentor [bryant] as motivation during the raptors’ run to the 2019 championship. he even spoke to bryant on the phone during the locker-room celebration after they finished off the warriors in the nba finals.

work out means train, exercise. even emphasizes the importance of the relationship; that kawhi talked to kobe while he was still celebrating winning the championship in the locker room last season. the locker room is where players change their clothes before and after gamesfinish off means end their participation. it’s very similar to finish.

kawhil working out with kobe--'work out' phrasal verb

kawhi working out with kobe

understandably, it was difficult for leonard to come to grips with (handle) the tragedy…

it’s sad every day, u know, u kind of feel like life isn’t real once u start seeing these little monuments or the pictures that people are putting up with his face and the year he was born and the year he died. it’s not all come together yet…. it’s just hard to think of the conversation we had together right now, just summing up in a sentence. just everything he did. it’s just that motivation. i thought about him every game. he [was] a sense of a drive for me last year, trying to get that championship.

put up means display, construct. born should be used with the verb be. born alone is not a verb. come together is used to show it wasn’t possible to completely understand kobe’s death immediately after it happened. sum up means summarize.

kobe and paul george

paul george and kobe bryant

clipper paul george, like leonard, is from southern california. george talks about how this affects their perception of what happened…

we grew up here. we saw him every day on tv. he’s the reason all of us played the game, so it’s different. it hits different for us, from russ [westbrook], demar [derozan], myself, kawhi, just all the SoCal guys, it just hits different. he was our mj [michael jordan]. he was our hero. he was our GOAT. it’s just going to hit different for us. from idolizing him as a kid to developing a friendship, a brotherhood, to now having conversations with him this summer at his mamba academy and talking about fatherhood. [it’s] just some shit u can’t get over.

grow up refers to where they spent their childhood. socal means southern california. goat is an acronym that stands for greatest of all time. idolize means admire. fatherhood and brotherhood are different ideas. a brotherhood is a group of people who feel close like brothers. fatherhood is the condition of being a father. shit means stuff, things. get over means stop thinking about, recover from.

silhouettes that demonstrate growing up--'grow up' phrasal verbpaul george and kawhi leonard both grew up in so cal

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