Good morning, Sonoran Desert, and good morning, Insiders.
MUNTERS, HO! Two years to the day of the last sighting, friendly Glendalians have ensured this season’s final trip to Maricopa County will be experienced from the cushy confines of their esteemed Munters View suite. Imagine the possibilities of patio tailgates alongside these silver behemoths were the Cardinals to ever make the playoffs.
Thanks for the laugh, Insiders. (I’m assuming all of you are laughing.) This has been such a difficult week. Sometimes I want to use Bad Words I can’t use. There’s not usually a great deal of use for profanity in sportswriting or in situations when it’s best to use a full arsenal of vocabulary to most accurately describe what’s happening. But this week has been so surreal and awful and difficult to describe, and when I come back to a Kobe memory, or see him alongside his family, or any of the other victims alongside their families or read their stories and hear their tributes, I’m hit by waves of hurt and unfairness where sometimes the only word that comes out is one that wouldn’t be used on this page or shared around my kids. Bill Plaschke wrote over 800 words on Sunday, a blunt articulation of pure emotion when immediately faced with such devastating news. That’s hard to do, and the visceral reaction of stunned pain was clear and evident.
One last bit and then we’re moving on. And please yell at me if this comes off preachy or as if I’m micro-managing emotion when there’s no right or wrong way to process grief or share condolences. There are more important people families to be thinking about than those who write and report on tragedy. But having spoken with several reporters last week who’d covered the Humboldt bus crash, and those who will continue to work covering news in Los Angeles and Orange County this week, it does take a very real mental toll to insert oneself into such tragedy. These are not war photographers or those who are currently risking their lives to pursue truth and accountability, nor is this trying to weigh their grief amongst the victims’ friends and families or those within the Laker organization living through Sunday’s event. But think back to so much of what you’ve read, watched and heard over the past week. Kobe’s infectious personality allowed him into so many peoples’ lives, and there have been stirring tributes by those who’ve worked with him or covered him closely and knew the special relationship he had with his daughter, Gianna. Here’s a stick-tap to those who’ve been working to impart what they’ve experienced in getting to know Kobe and his family, and to share their stories and their experiences that may allow us to pause or think or reflect or maybe even laugh. Thank you, Bill, thank you Helene and Arash and the LA Times – and thank you to Lakers Reporter Mike Trudell and many, many others who’ve continued to work this difficult week.
No morning skate today, Insiders. There might be some additional reflection on last night’s ceremony in WUWTK, but that’s about it for now on LAKI Kobe coverage. Thank you as always for reading and laughing at the silly Munters jokes. Lots more to come on a Wile E. game day in the desert. [howling]