Sunday morning in late January. I’m sitting with my wife and our 13-month-old daughter. Texts start pouring in. There was a helicopter crash in Calabasas, miles from where I grew up. Reports that Kobe Bryant was on board. Three other people, then four. Then eventually nine altogether. No survivors.
I run a media company. I trust the media. But I didn’t want to trust this. It couldn’t be true. I kept playing with my daughter. I looked at my wife; she could tell I was in shock. The texts didn’t stop.
Minutes later, I sent a text to my friend. Then a call. Straight to voicemail. Finally, a text back from Jeff. He was with Vanessa Bryant and the family. It’s true. Kobe and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, were both on board.
On January 26, 2020, social media was flooded. There wasn’t a missed opportunity to praise Kobe and Gianna and the seven other people on the helicopter and offer public sympathy for their passing. Anyone that grew up in Los Angeles during his tenure with the Lakers loved Kobe. He WAS Los Angeles. We won and lost with him. His accomplishments and hard work reflected what we aspired to be. And looking back now with perspective, he was so young. So young when he went to the Lakers at an age most are still trying to figure out what their college major will be. So young when he started winning championships. So young when he retired at the age of 37. And so young when he passed away that Sunday at the age of 41. Kobe Bryant will be remembered as a legend, a family man, and a businessman whose influence impacted unimaginable numbers of children and adults around the world.
As partners, spouses, friends—as humans—we are getting busier every day. Life moves faster, distractions abound. This can lead even the best intentioned of us into some contentious and short exchanges. We don’t realize that the words we speak may be the last argument or conversation that we will have with someone we care about. In an instant, lives are devastated, and there are no more chances to say hello, or I’m sorry, to their face again. Let’s all be thankful for our friends, family, and those around us every day, whether we know them or not. Hug more, love more, and say sorry more. Life is too short. Infinite prayers to Jeff, and to all who knew Kobe Bryant the person and the legend, his daughter Gianna, and the other seven people on that helicopter. And to the Bryant family, who lost a father, a husband, a role model, and a child. #RIP #wemourn24
As we each strive for success let’s not forget what it’s all for. Make the world a better place, advocate for equality, live creatively and passionately, and take care of the people we love. The CSQ family and I dedicate this issue to the nine souls lost that day.
David L. Wurth
Founder & Publisher