Kobe Bryant was not my favorite basketball player of all time. Sure, I enjoyed watching him play and win his 5 NBA titles. But I connected more with the Kobe after basketball. The one that lived through his daughters. The one that became an example of what a 'girl dad' should be. Yesterday, a public celebration of life ceremony was held for Kobe and his daughter Gianna Bryant, who were among the nine that died during a helicopter crash nearly a month ago.

At the ceremony, we heard from many great speakers, including Kobe's widow Vanessa Bryant. Her goodbyes to her daughter and husband were raw and powerful. But it was another speaker who had everyone talking. It was another basketball hero. Perhaps the greatest of all time. Michael Jordan. MJ was my basketball hero growing up. We all wanted to 'Be Like Mike' as the commercials said. His six NBA titles with the Chicago Bulls are the modern standard to which other champions are measured by. His competitive nature is legendary. But yesterday Jordan let his guard down. He let us all witness the pain he was feeling. He hid nothing. And it became more powerful than any last-second game-winning shot he ever made.

He spoke of treasuring our time on this earth because none of us know how long we have. Reach out and stay in touch with everyone we come in to contact with. Be better people. Be better citizens. Be better fathers. And lastly, he said goodbye to Kobe, who he called his 'little brother.' It was heartbreaking.

The entirety of it reminds us that even our heroes are human. They may fly high and seemingly do nothing but flirt with the sun. But they are all too real. They have faults and frailties. They have personal failures. They seek redemption. But in the end that is WHY we love them. Because they are just like us. I think I'll remember this speech from Michael Jordan for quite some time. It was real and genuine. And it mattered more than any game he ever played in. Thanks again, MJ.

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