Passionate. Ruthless. Complicated. Champion. These are some of the surplus of words and expressions used to describe the genius that is Kobe Bryant. Born in the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia, and raised approximately 5,000 miles away in the suburbs of Italy, this memoir depicts the life story of Kobe Bryant; from his upbringing as the youngest child in a sports-oriented family, to his eventual triumph within the National Basketball Association.
Unlike some athletes, his success story wasn’t handed over to him on a sliver platter. Growing up as a little boy in the streets of Italy, Kobe always seemed to find himself as the odd-man-out; the eccentric outsider that was never supposed to be presented in the picture. As one of the few African-American individuals continually participating in his basketball tournaments and leagues, he struggled to maintain a common connection between his peers. This issue would then come into fruition 7 years later, after his father Joe Bryant decided to retire from the game of basketball, and opted his family to move back to their hometown of Philadelphia.
Being a predominantly-based Italian speaker for a majority of his life, Kobe struggled to cope with the contrast between Italy to that of the United States. Due to this cause, in spite of all the work he tirelessly had to commit to in order to fit in, he had been placed once again in a position he so desperately wanted to break out of, becoming an outsider within his community. At this point in his life, undeterred by the social constraints that had been established against him all his life, he found his common denominator, his true love. A sport that was meant to be played with passion and passion alone; a sport that bridged teammates with the values of cooperation, teamwork, and unity, regardless of race, background, or financial capabilities. This sport was basketball; a sport he found so much solace and relief in, he became one of its greatest legends
Throughout the entirety of this literary work, it is evident that the topic of race plays a vital role within the narrative of Kobe’s life. From this new perspective, the reader is given a clearer view of how the concept of racial discrimination continually divides and separates the worldwide union we all hope to attain.
Regardless of the setbacks and limitations that may have been presented to him within some stages of his life, the author decides not to empathize on the detrimental effects this type of discrimination may have on a specific individual, but gives light and appreciation towards the accomplishments and accolades that this young man had genuinely achieved throughout his life in spite of it. It can be noticed emphasizes on how true passion and heart authentically surpasses any kind of constraints that may be traditionally accepted by society, regardless of the color of skin an individual may have.