I’m absolutely gutted. You have these certain athletes that you think about showing your kids highlight tapes of, the athletes that you want to look at down the road in your life and say “Man, I got to watch him live.” No one, and if you know me you know this to be true, means more to my sports fandom than Kobe Bean Bryant.

TMZ reported today that Bryant was in a helicopter that crashed leaving no survivors. I can’t believe it honestly. Kobe Bryant is one of the most polarizing athletes of all time, bringing to the forefront a killer mentality that was so vicious it was given the name Mamba Mentality.

This is absolutely heart wrenching for fans of all ages, but the worst part to me was Kobe had just started really enjoying his life. He was 41, invested heavily in the wine industry, coached his daughter’s team and was absolutely becoming the larger than life character we all knew he was, on and off the court.

I fell in love with Kobe in Jr. High School, naturally loving the guy who no one could touch. I got to watch Kobe take on Lebron in Cleveland one last time. I mean seriously, I don’t think I’ve ever thrown something without saying KOBE.

I’m absolutely crushed, just as the rest of sports fans are. Rest In Peace to my favorite athlete ever. I’ll do another blog just recapping the man and what he means to me, but for right now just remember what the mamba meant.