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#1 UKUGA

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Posted December 14, 2013 - 08:26 PM

*
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I went to this game tonight. I wore my "MVP" shirt from 2008 - only the 2nd time I've ever worn it and the first time I've worn it in public.

The game wasn't that good, but one thing was pretty clear - Kobe Bryant, on one good leg! was the best offensive player on the court.

Flash forward to the 4th, it became pretty clear late that Kobe was going to try and win that game. You know what happened.

Frankly, it didn't look like it would happen. After he went baseline with about 2 minutes left and couldn't get off a shot, I feared that would happen on a final shot attempt.

But, Kobe saw Josh McRoberts that next time and his eyes got huge. No, he wasn't as smooth as last year, but he still had enough to get McRoberts to go for the fake, and draw the foul. The crowd went nuts, and I thought I might cry.

I've told you before that Kobe's extended career keeps me feeling young. When he's gone, I'll never feel the same about basketball again. The first time I saw him play, I was 22 years old, and watched him drop 45 on the Rockets in Houston. The next time I saw him play - the next night in Dallas - I think he had 35. That was almost exactly 13 years ago to the day.

Tonight, I went to TWC to watch two bad teams play. I took my wife of ten years, my four year old (decked out in purple and gold) and my 8 month old - her first Lakers game.

We basically sat quietly for 3 quarters. My baby slept in my arms the entire third quarter. It was a nice evening, but uneventful. Until Kobe happened. And the UKUGA family went crazy.

I watched Kobe close the Alamo Dome in 2002. I listened to fans in Minnesota chant "no means no!" during game 5 of the 2004 WCF, I began the M-V-P chant in San Antonio after a Kobe breakaway dunk in game 4 in 2008, and I watched Kobe go for 58 right here in Charlotte in a 3OT loss in 2006. And while I was plenty loud and boisterous on all those occasions, nothing quit matched the magic and emotion of this moment tonight.

After the game, I carried my little girl down 5th street in Charlotte chanting M-V-P together. I asked her, "who won the game?" And she said, "Kobe."

It was her third Lakers game, but it was her first Kobe game-winner.

This was a moment to cherish forever. Thank you Kobe for coming back, and thank you for giving it your all.

www.twitter.com/ukuga


#2 bigvee

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Posted December 14, 2013 - 08:32 PM

Great post. Thanks for sharing.

#3 Red September

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Posted December 14, 2013 - 08:38 PM

That 58 point game was sad :(

Man I promise, I'm so self conscious, That's why you always see me with at least one of my watches - Kanye West

#4 Yaboy

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Posted December 14, 2013 - 08:47 PM

Nice story.. Sucks that he'll only be in town one time in Portland this season :(


de__anthony_thomas_by_eksde-d5e4v29.png

"Love me or hate me it's one or the other. Always has been. Hate my game, hate my swagger, hate my fade-away, my hunger, hate that i'm a veteran, A champion, hate that. Hate it with all your heart, and hate that i'm loved for the exact same reasons." - Kobe


#5 UKUGA

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Posted December 14, 2013 - 08:49 PM

Nice story.. Sucks that he'll only be in town one time in Portland this season :(


Catch him every chance you have. He's a living legend.

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#6 Red September

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Posted December 14, 2013 - 08:50 PM

I'm going to see the lakeshow in Toronto!

Man I promise, I'm so self conscious, That's why you always see me with at least one of my watches - Kanye West

#7 CaliforniaSoul

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Posted December 14, 2013 - 08:53 PM

Trying to see the Lakers in Miami this year. I've never seen the purple and gold live



#8 Jackson

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Posted December 14, 2013 - 09:03 PM

I swear, Kobe could've scored 70 in the Bobcats game with the way he was playing.



#9 zombeef

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Posted December 14, 2013 - 09:21 PM

Kobe was looking very effective with limited arsenal. 



#10 Ham

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Posted December 14, 2013 - 09:30 PM

Once he has full capabilities in 15 or so games (could be a year), the mambas gonna strike harder than ever.


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#11 Majesty

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Posted December 14, 2013 - 09:44 PM

I went to this game tonight. I wore my "MVP" shirt from 2008 - only the 2nd time I've ever worn it and the first time I've worn it in public.

The game wasn't that good, but one thing was pretty clear - Kobe Bryant, on one good leg! was the best offensive player on the court.

Flash forward to the 4th, it became pretty clear late that Kobe was going to try and win that game. You know what happened.

Frankly, it didn't look like it would happen. After he went baseline with about 2 minutes left and couldn't get off a shot, I feared that would happen on a final shot attempt.

But, Kobe saw Josh McRoberts that next time and his eyes got huge. No, he wasn't as smooth as last year, but he still had enough to get McRoberts to go for the fake, and draw the foul. The crowd went nuts, and I thought I might cry.

I've told you before that Kobe's extended career keeps me feeling young. When he's gone, I'll never feel the same about basketball again. The first time I saw him play, I was 22 years old, and watched him drop 45 on the Rockets in Houston. The next time I saw him play - the next night in Dallas - I think he had 35. That was almost exactly 13 years ago to the day.

Tonight, I went to TWC to watch two bad teams play. I took my wife of ten years, my four year old (decked out in purple and gold) and my 8 month old - her first Lakers game.

We basically sat quietly for 3 quarters. My baby slept in my arms the entire third quarter. It was a nice evening, but uneventful. Until Kobe happened. And the UKUGA family went crazy.

I watched Kobe close the Alamo Dome in 2002. I listened to fans in Minnesota chant "no means no!" during game 5 of the 2004 WCF, I began the M-V-P chant in San Antonio after a Kobe breakaway dunk in game 4 in 2008, and I watched Kobe go for 58 right here in Charlotte in a 3OT loss in 2006. And while I was plenty loud and boisterous on all those occasions, nothing quit matched the magic and emotion of this moment tonight.

After the game, I carried my little girl down 5th street in Charlotte chanting M-V-P together. I asked her, "who won the game?" And she said, "Kobe."

It was her third Lakers game, but it was her first Kobe game-winner.

This was a moment to cherish forever. Thank you Kobe for coming back, and thank you for giving it your all.



sniff.... that... was so beautiful!!!  rep for the next 30 days. 


Is Wayne Brady gonna have to Djokovic? - Robert Flores 


#12 Red September

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Posted December 14, 2013 - 09:45 PM

^ I agree. He's taking small steps since his first game.

Man I promise, I'm so self conscious, That's why you always see me with at least one of my watches - Kanye West

#13    

   

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Posted December 14, 2013 - 10:51 PM

Thank your for sharing as well. It's great hearing these stories & moments from fans.

 

Did you happen to try & snap any photos or video at all or simply all stored in the memory bank?


yo.


#14 Julien

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Posted December 14, 2013 - 11:50 PM

I love your post!

Now I'm thinking of the first time I saw Kobe.
I only live in the USA since August 2012.
Before that I lived in France. Funny thing is my wife and I came to LA in April 2012 for holidays and we had no idea at the time that we were going to live there a few months later.

I bought tickets for two games: vs Mavs and Spurs du ring our trip. We were so excited but just before our trip Kobe got injured. He didn't play. Man we were so sad, for us it was like the dream of a lifetime to watch him on the court. I know that other people from Europe like Manaro will understand. The NBA is so far away from us, it's like the ultimate dream to watch a game.

Anyway we came back to France kind of sad because Kobe wasn't playing. It was like the goal of our trip... but we enjoyed LA so I decided to find a french school in LA and send my resume (I'm a teacher).
June 2012, I got a job offer from a school.
August 2012 we landed in LA.

We went 7 times to the Staples last season and I can't even discribe our joy the first time we saw Kobe. Against the Pacers, he had the flu and dropped 42 or 41 pts.

Then we went to that game against Toronto with the clutch 3s. I watched the highlights of that game hundred of times, it still makes me wanna shed a tear when I remember the greatness of Kobe on the floor that day.

Thanks for sharing Ukuga!

#15 Yaboy

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Posted December 15, 2013 - 12:10 AM

This was my 2nd time watching Kobe play in person... Amazing game... Wish i was older at the time so I could remember more.. I do remember him making those 3s though... Laker fans were going crazy.

 


de__anthony_thomas_by_eksde-d5e4v29.png

"Love me or hate me it's one or the other. Always has been. Hate my game, hate my swagger, hate my fade-away, my hunger, hate that i'm a veteran, A champion, hate that. Hate it with all your heart, and hate that i'm loved for the exact same reasons." - Kobe


#16 UKUGA

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Posted December 15, 2013 - 05:26 AM

Thank your for sharing as well. It's great hearing these stories & moments from fans.
 
Did you happen to try & snap any photos or video at all or simply all stored in the memory bank?


I don't have anything great. I was sitting upper level and only had an iPhone. I was wanting a better camera when Kobe was shaking hands with Floyd Mayweather after the game.

www.twitter.com/ukuga


#17 Tensai

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Posted December 15, 2013 - 05:50 AM

I wanted to watch Kobe so much. In FIBA 2010 I thought he would also come to Turkey. But he didn't attend to USA team.

 

I have been planning for some time on doing PhD in LA, mostly to watch Kobe for once playing for Purple&Gold. I'm now in other side of the world, Korea. And I'll work hard as hell to make that come true in 2015. In his farewell season, I'll be there!



#18 MaceWindu

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Posted December 15, 2013 - 07:57 AM

Should turn that into a Hallmark card.

#19 LakersGAFan

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Posted December 15, 2013 - 08:37 AM

Kobe Bryant: Where different generations sharing the same memories happen.

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#20 UKUGA

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Posted December 19, 2013 - 07:25 PM

Wow. Bad day. Definitely glad I went to see him play last week, and glad that it was memorable.

I told my little girl today how lucky she was to get to see this. My wife said, "Sometimes, you don't even know what you are watching."

Living legend. On his last legs? Pray for the best.

www.twitter.com/ukuga





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