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Kobe’s X Factor

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Some people behave and perform differently than the rest of us. Whether you are talking about sports or the arts, we often use the term “X Factor” to try and bottle up their differences into a simple term that is often hard to characterize in words…you just know it when you see it. Michael Jordan has it. Lady Gaga has it. Kobe personified it.

I grew up with a love for basketball shared with me by my Father Herb Ross, who played for his high school team in the Bronx in the 40’s. Dad was a connoisseur of the sport and taught me so much about it. Most of all, he was old school and could help me figure out the real stars from the perceived stars and the rare few who truly had the X Factor.

Kobe entered the league as the youngest player ever and declared he would be the best ever when he arrived! X Factor Confidence. He practiced as hard as he played and challenged everyone around him with a discipline that was rare. X Factor Work-Ethic. Kobe performed at the highest level and is arguably a top five player of all time! X Factor Talent. And, he did all this while becoming a role model for everyone around him including his family and friends. X Factor Character.

There is no way to absorb this loss. I felt the same way when John Lennon was shot. Kobe will be missed and I am trying to end this with the traditional uplifting message. I can’t. His daughter’s life was just starting to flourish and Kobe was hard at work giving his time to his entire young family after giving most of his time to all of us for so long.

Time may help to create more perspective. This is just a tragic loss with no X Factor Silver Lining.