nba legend kobe bryant died in a helicopter crash on january 26. his daughter gianna, 6 other passengers and the pilot also died in the crash. a tribute to kobe by gustavo arrellano for the l.a. times details the connection kobe, a los angeles laker his entire career, had with the latino community in los angeles. the article talks a lot about a restaurant, el camino real.
bryant’s wife, vanessa laine bryant, had introduced the lakers superstar to her childhood favorite restaurant almost as soon as the two began to date.
kobe & vanessa’s favorite restaurant
arellano describes kobe’s relationship with el camino real.
sometimes, the couple and their daughters dined in; when kobe didn’t want to draw attention, he’d sneak in through the back to hang out with workers and greet everyone in spanish. and if he couldn’t come in person, bryant called in big orders that friends picked up to take back to his newport coast mansion
dine in means eat at home. draw in this context means attract. sneak in means enter clandestinely, with the idea of not drawing attention. hang out means socialize. greet is say hello. call in means order by phone. pick up means go for, get. take back means return to kobe’s home with the food. the article mentions that kobe’s favorite meal was…
carnitas with flan for dessert
carnitas is pork slow cooked and served in tacos. flan in the u.s. is known as flan napolitano in mexico. flan in mexico is called custard in the u.s. dessert is a sweet dish served at the end of a meal; check the correct pronunciation here (don’t confuse it with desert 🐫).
desserts: flan & custard (delish.com, wikipedia)
arellano describes how kobe’s appreciation of el camino real was representative of his affection (attachment, love) for the latino community. likewise (in the same way) many latinos saw their values personified in kobe.
fans show their affection for kobe (philip cheung/the new york times)
hugo flores, a resident of anaheim, california (suburban l.a.) remembers that in conversations with friends after pickup games (informal basketball) his friends talked about how bryant reminded them of their immigrant parents…
they had multiple jobs and worked like crazy, but they never made excuses. that was kobe. he’d play with broken fingers and torn ligaments, and would never say a thing. he set that example, and so we had to do the same. we see that mentality in our culture–eres el más chingón [you’re the biggest badass]. that was kobe every night, every day.
remind is used when an external object, event or idea makes u remember. like crazy means with a lot of energy. he’d is a contraction for he would. would is frequently used to indicate activities in the past that don’t happen anymore, similar to used to. broken is the irregular past participle of break and an adjective that means fractured in this example. torn is the irregular past participle of tear and an adjective that means damaged when it refers to ligaments. set an example means establish a behavior that should be imitated. badass means really tough or impressive. it is half of the name of rapper joey bada$$
arellano explains that l.a. latinos were ready for kobe when he arrived to the lakers in 1996.
two years earlier, the lakers had become the first nba team to broadcast games in spanish. the superstars for previous generations of latinos — fernando valenzuela in baseball, julio cesar chavez in boxing–were past their prime.
broadcast means transmit on tv or radio. had become is another example of past perfect. it references two points in the past: 1996 when kobe arrived to l.a. and two years earlier when the lakers started to broadcast games in spanish. prime means at the best moment of a career.
kobe in his prime
kobe and vanessa got married in 2001. according to arrellano,
the two embodied the thoroughly modern southern california couple: multicultural, multilingual, aware of what they represented, and unashamed to express it.
kobe and vanessa: aware and unashamed (reuters)
kobe gave full interviews in spanish by the end of his career. he didn’t arrive to los angeles speaking the language though. how he learned spanish should be an inspiration to second language learners around the world…
he picked it up by watching the long-running variety show “sábado gigante” and the 2005 telenovela “la madrastra” alongside his wife and mother-in-law.
pick up in this context means learn informally. watching is in the ing form because it follows by, a preposition. long-running is talking about how long sábado gigante was in production. (it was 53 years!) telenovela is soap opera in english. a soap opera is a production for television or radio, usually of lower quality than a series. madrastra is stepmom–the woman a father remarries after divorce from or the death of the mother. alongside is next to. mother-in-law is your husband or wife’s mom.
kobe picked up spanish watching the long-running variety show sábado gigante
and juliana bañuelos made this observation about why kobe was so popular with mexicans in l.a.
kobe was like a brother or a cousin, someone that u would invite to a family get-together. u didn’t even have to like basketball, and u still liked that he respected and loved mexican culture.
a family get-together
did u know about kobe bryant’s affection for mexicans /latinos in l.a.? share your feelings under leave a reply