Big news like this travels faster than ever. You first hear it when you’re getting out of the shower and your wife pulls her phone away from her ear and asks, “Did Kobe Bryant really die?” You flip open your laptop to find out what happened and maybe get an idea about how you’re supposed to respond. Your son comes upstairs and asks if you heard about Kobe? He got the news via an in-game chat on his PS-4. It’s everywhere. Then the iPhone news notifications start; buzz, buzz, buzz, because the intersection of sports and celebrity cuts across every chasm, every publication, every post, every tweet. And you start to think about the role of sport in our society and wonder how exactly you’re supposed to mourn when someone extremely famous—but who you don’t actually know—suffers a tragedy. Then you take your kid to his basketball game, where the gym, like every other court in the world right now, is consumed by a quiet, weighted shadow. One of the dads in the next row, who has a dog named after Kobe, leans back and says, did you hear Gigi was on the helicopter too? And now it’s not about sport and celebrity anymore. It’s you imagining that moment when something terrible, beyond terrible, is happening and you know you can’t protect your kid. The split second you realize you could be dying but that barely registers because it means your child could be dying too. It’s you imagining his wife and her mom with the other kids back home. Now it’s not news, it’s human, and so you start to think about the other parents and kids on the helicopter, and their friends and family who find themselves surrounded by the buzz, buzz, buzz of a world of mourners, none of whom is mourning their loss: the loss of the “others on board” who were part of a crash that had no survivors. And that’s when you realize you’re lucky to be in the news absorption and regurgitation business because you don’t have time to get emotional about stories. Your job is to make other people feel the appropriate emotion. You get to professionalize the story while the less fortunate have to feel it.

+ From someone for whom it’s more personal; LA Times columnist Bill Plaschke: “I’m screaming right now, cursing into the sky, crying into my keyboard, and I don’t care who knows it.”

+ “The best thing that happens is when we go out and fans come up to me, and she’ll be standing next to me and they’ll be like: ‘You’ve got to have a boy … someone to carry on the tradition, the legacy.’ And she’s like, ‘Oh, I got this.'” WaPo: Kobe Bryant had left basketball behind. His daughter Gigi brought him back.

+ “‘Kobe’ became the flawed human being, trying to cope with his personal problems; Black Mamba was his alter ego on court, a serpent who channelled his rage and darkness into devastating power.” The New Yorker: Kobe Bryant Was Basketball’s Great Storyteller.

+ NYT: Kobe Bryant’s Brilliant and Complicated Legacy.

+ The 24 stats that explain Kobe Bryant’s staggering legacy.