This article is a facsimile of an earlier publication on The Basketball Writers (TBW), which recently closed its doors.
Everybody handles unspeakable tragedies in different ways. Some like to internalize their thoughts and emotions while others become more expressive. We think of what we've taken for granted; some for a quick moment, and others are touched and changed for a prolonged period. There's no right way to cope.
A little over a week ago, the NBA community saw one of its idols fall victim to a terrible tragedy. To many, Kobe Bryant was a role model, icon and legend their games were built after. He was the favorite of many. While the eulogies, stories and countless social media posts pour out of the hearts of many, I've been stricken in a different way.
Instead of an outpouring of grief or sadness from his passing, I'll use this time as an opportunity to show appreciation for those basketball players who were such a profound influence on me.
JJ Redick has always been such an influence on me. Growing up a Duke fan, Redick burst onto the scene as a freshman while I was in the fifth grade. He was unassuming, babyfaced, outmatched athletically and limited off the bounce.
But that jump shot, it's like silk.
Head Boys Basketball Coach, Boys' Latin School (MD).