I could easily do a post just on Kobe. I don’t want to do that. I will take a few moments on him though. I have lived in Southern California all of my life. I know the area well where he died. The hills are where my sister went to middle school. How can kids at AE Wright Middle School attend classes this week? I didn’t think that I would cry over a sports figure until Vin Scully or Tommy Lasorda died. I am not a Lakers fan but when they succeed SoCal succeeds and it brings a great energy to the area. I didn’t think that I was a huge Kobe fan but I cried over his death. I got to see him become a man and it was a pleasure. I saw his 81 point game on television. I have amazing sports memories because Kobe’s prime was local. I know this is bias but I genuinely thought that he was the best player to ever play in the NBA. People my age and a little younger grew up with Kobe as their main idol. I am worried about a few friends mental health because of this. When, I am about to send a text to see if someone I know is okay because he needs strength to get through this. I helped in the closest hobby shop to the tragedy on its first day open since the tragedy. Kobe cards were bought out of the shop on Sunday before news hit it. The vultures were out. Helping out Tuesday in the shop was hard but it needed to be done. The volume of phone calls regarding Kobe was insane. The amount of calls made me excited to take a call trying to sell the shop junk wax from the 80s and 90s; those happen a dozen times a day and have been the bane of my existence. I am not a retail mind and I only help in the shop as a friend helping another friend. Seeing people try to monetize off a death made me want to puke. A guy came in with Lakers stuff from the 99 cent store trying to sell it to the shop for $7. I wanted to kick him out. A customer came in who saw the chopper as it was turning before it hit the mountain. He said enough and incriminated himself enough that I know it was genuine. The worst though was when someone wanted to get their autographed Kobe jersey authenticated. His mom paid $6,000 for it on Sunday after the death. It was the worst fake autograph that I have ever seen in my life. Again, the vultures were out and preying on the vulnerable. I can only hope that the lady had money to burn. I am proud to be friends with a shop owner who was above it. His stance was that he made so much off Kobe that he didn’t want to disrespect him. Kobe was a true legend. His daughter was about to become a legend and together they were going to help propel women’s basketball. I am sad that we lost that future more than anything.
Lets move on to happier times. I usually have to order hockey blasters online but when I saw this in my WalMart, I grabbed it and stuck it on a credit card, afraid that I would miss my chance to bust a product that I covet so much. Parkhurst is one of my all time favorite sets. I put together insert sets from this last year.
Kudos to Upper Deck for getting traded players in their right jersey. Something that Panini didn’t do in Hoops which frustrated me.