Bubble Boyz Mixtape honors Kobe

Words by DC Livers, the longest working Black woman covering the NBA

(BlackPressRadio.net) – 2020 has been a year of so many ups and downs. It started with such hope but 26 days into the year, the world was devastated with the loss of NBA super star KOBE BRYANT. The loss also claimed the lives of his daughter, Gianna Bryant and seven other people. It was heartbreaking.

As horrible as that was, 2020 wasn’t done with us. Kobe was just the beginning. We’d go on to lose so many people including the legendary sports photographer – Anthony Causi who took the iconic photos of Kobe’s magical night at Madison Square Garden on February 2, 2009 when he scored 61 points. Causi died from coronavirus on Easter Sunday leaving two children and a wife behind.

The sports world would continue to be turned on its head as NBA player Karl Anthony Towns lost his mother to the virus, Damian Lilliard lost his cousin and the entire NBA season was put on hold indefinitely.

Then – those of us who could muster the courage – gathered together in a virtual Bubble, crouched around computer screens, Zoom chats, an otherwise fanless arenas – however we could – we knew that we had to do this. It wasn’t actual ever a thought to do anything but to cover the most historic, iconic season in the history of the game: The Bubble Season. BlackPressRadio.net – always looking out for the hood with its exclusive, one-of-a-kind mixtape series – created BUBBLE BOYZ: The Mixtape Series.

It seemed only right that the final mixtape in the Bubble Boyz Mixtape Series honored Kobe Bryant as the Lakers closed out the Miami Heat in Game 6. For me it, October 11, 2020 represented Day 376 of the most emotional season I’ve ever had covering the NBA. What started on September 30, 2019 in Tarrytown, New York for Knicks Media Day ended after three hundred and seventy six days of ups and downs.

There were days when I felt like I was wasting time covering sports during a global pandemic. There were days that covering covering during a global pandemic that were all I had to look forward to. As basketball has done my entire life, it grounded me. For me – for so many people – ball is truly life.

My connection with Kobe Bryant and all the men who played in The NBA Bubble was intact before the season, but on October 11, 2020 as the ticker tape rained down on LeBron James, Anthony Davis and the entire Lakers team, I felt overwhelmed by what we’ve been through together. So many started this year watching us work but so many didn’t live to see how it ended.

I’ll be sharing my full journey in my first-ever book about my life as a sports reporter later but right now I just wanted to take this moment to remember all the fun times we all shared with Kobe. I remember the big smile he gave me at Madison Square Garden in what would become his last game at his favorite arena. I’d asked him if he was retiring. The smile he gave me was all I needed to know. I’ll always cherish that moment more than any of the others we shared. He’d always been so supportive of me. So few care about a Black woman’s journey through professional sports. But Kobe got it. He understood. He was proud of me. I was proud of him. It’s only right that the final volume in the Bubble Boyz Mixtape Series be dedicated to Kobe.

REST BRO! We got you.

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