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Hello, my name is D. Recently, I was hired by Kobe Bryant to serve him as a counselor in response to the backlash he has received from the public. I was initially hesitant to accept this job. We have all heard the stories about Kobe's narcissistic behavior. But I became more and more intrigued by this possibility. It's not everyday that an average joe like me is hired to essentially mentor a star athlete. I thought, "surely he can't be as bad as everyone makes him out to be". I'm about to find out. As the days pass, I will be spending time with Kobe and keeping a journal of our experiences and his behavior. We are to meet once per week. If you have any questions you would like to ask Kobe, post here and I will make note of it.

"Taking a Ride"
April 1, 2005

I met Kobe for the first time in a small town in California. I felt it was best to meet in a rural area so he could feel more comfortable and perhaps open up more. I was instructed to meet him at a convenient store. I waited in a parking spot for roughly five minutes until a yellow sports car pulled into a spot. The license plate read "CLUTCH". I knew right away it was him. I got out of my car and stood waiting for any sign of Kobe exiting his vehicle. To my surprise, the passenger side door opened and Chucky Atkins stepped out first. He walked around to the driver side and opened the door for his superstar friend. Kobe stepped out of the car and began walking towards me. He flashed a huge smile and very respectfully introduced himself. "I knew he wasn't some kind of animal!" We shared useless tidbits about our background and he continued to be very courteous.

Kobe: "Want to take a ride in my car?"
Me: "Absolutely. Shotgun!"

As we stepped towards the car, I noticed that my call for the front seat didn't phase Chucky. He was busy trying to guard a turtle from walking out onto the highway. After failing to do so, he ran towards the car and climbed in the back seat. Kobe sped off onto the road. For nearly thirty minutes, we held an amazing conversation. I was shocked. He seemed candid, sincere, and especially interested in how I felt about different subjects.

Kobe: "So how old are you kids D? You have two boys right?"
Me: "I have a six year old and a two year old. Let me tell you Ko…"
Chucky: "CAT!!"

Chucky's interruption startled me. I noticed the stray cat up ahead, but why was it such a big deal? What happened next has continued to haunt me. As we approached the animal, Kobe jerked the wheel onto the shoulder, trampling the poor cat. I was astonished. He pulled over the car and got out to admire his kill. He and Chucky began laughing hysterically, even giving each other high fives. I forced a smile; not wanting to abandon Kobe's trust my first day. On the inside, I wanted to cry. It reminded me of a story that my friend told me that I had simply scoffed at. Apparently Kobe had kidnapped one of Shaq's dogs, cut its head off, and glued it to the body of a bobble-head Shaq. Afterwards, he placed his creation in Shaq's locker. It has been disputed whether this was a vengeful act for something that Diesel had said, or whether Kobe was simply trying to prove his social skills by playing a light-hearted prank. It doesn't really matter. Now the story was much more believable. I was nervous the entire ride back to the convenient store, fearing that Kobe may harm something or somebody. When we finally returned, Kobe nearly slammed into a kid leaning up against a bicycle in the parking lot. Expecting the worst, I watched as Kobe stormed out of the car towards the kid with Chucky a couple steps behind. Surprisingly, Kobe smiled and introduced himself to the boy.

Boy: "I already know who you are Kobe! Wow! I've always dreamed of meeting an NBA player. My only dream left is to hang out with one. Will you hang out with me Kobe?
Kobe: "Man I'm kinda busy kid. Is Chucky good enough for you?"
Boy: "Sure!"
Kobe: "Here, I'll trade you Chucky for your bike."
Boy: "Deal!"
Chucky: "But.."
Kobe: "So long sucka!"

And just like that, Kobe was gone. "This is going to be a long year", I thought to myself.
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