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  • Dennis Collins

What I learned from meeting Kobe Bryant.

Back in 2006, I was San Antonio staying on the Riverwalk when I saw Kobe Bryant on the outside patio at Dick's Last Resort restaurant.


To be clear I was was a die-hard Celtics fan growing up not a fan of the Lakers. This was also after his sexual assault allegations as well.


However, my son liked Kobe. Kobe was at a table with somebody and a critical point for me is that he was not eating lunch yet there was no food on the table. So I decided to get an autograph for my son I quickly went inside to get paper and pen and one waiter said “leave him alone he’s eating” the other waiter getting me a piece of paper and pen said can you do me a favor I asked his name and told him that I would take care of him. I looked at the other waiter and said “he’s not eating at that's why I'm in a hurry”.


I went up said excuse me Mr. Bryant could I get a couple of autographs for my sons? He said sure what are their names and addressed the autographs to both boys. He was gracious I thanked him and as I was heading back into the restaurant a server came out with their lunch. I gave the autograph back to the waiter who got me the pens and paper as I knew he wasn't allowed to ask for autographs, and he thanked me as I thanked him.


That was it nothing else that day. Fast forward the other day and I saw a post saying RIP Kobe and thought that was odd, his career is long dead as he’s retired. I saw another and then another and I went and checked espn.com and saw that there was a breaking news story of the crash of the helicopter and his death.


Wow, I thought he was too young to die.


Are you ready if you were to die today?


If you had 10 minutes' notice before you were to die would you have broken relationships, you desperately wish you had repaired?


Do you have friends or relatives you wish you had not let a year or two go by without talking to them?


Do you have people you feel you wish you'd have told them just how much they mean to you and that you love them?


Practical stuff too, do you have a will if you do has it been updated recently?

Everyone needs a will because you are going to die.


This also begs the question do you have life insurance if you have people who rely on you and your income for support or kids you need life insurance.

If you have a stay-at-home mom for a wife, you need life insurance on her as well. How much life insurance for you? 10 times your annual income as a rule of thumb recommended by Dave Ramsey. We are talking good term life insurance not universal or whole life. A good 20- or 30-year policy is relatively inexpensive when you're young and if you don't have any preexisting health conditions.

I know some of you are divorced or possibly getting divorced and don't want to leave money to young children or an ex. Trust me I understand that! You can set up the life insurance to fund a trust for your children that is created upon your death and for very little expense you could have that set up so they are taking care of.


So what did I learn anything that day when I first met Kobe in San Antonio? No not a damn thing.


But his death at 41 reinforced some important things that we all need to do:


  • Spiritual fitness- are you prepared to meet your maker?

  • Will all those that matter in your life know how much you love them and what they mean to you?

  • Are your personal affairs in order? Will in place updated and life insurance as well?

Remember things don't matter people and your relationships with them do.


If you are not comfortable with answering the three questions above, or your answers give you an uneasy feeling in your stomach here is what you need to do:


  • Put aside what happened or why you have not reached out and called that friend or relative you love but have not talked to in forever. Call them. Do it right now. If you get voicemail, leave a heartfelt message.

  • Reach out online or to and attorney to get the will taken care of, it is inexpensive to do.

  • Get some life insurance quotes.


If you need help or some guidance, I would love to talk with you. Be the kind of man who leaves a legacy of love, not regret.

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