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「服務他人是你住地球應該付出的租金。」– 穆罕默德‧阿里 (拳擊手)
"Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth." -- Muhammad Ali, Boxer
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擁有5座NBA冠軍,曾經單場得過81分,湖人隊永遠的MVP...

球場上的豐功偉業常是我們對KobeBryant的第一印象,然而這些榮耀背後的動力,源自他籃球無盡的愛。生涯最後一個 球季中,他提前以一封致籃球的公開信向眾人預告他的退休。信中他用一個六歲男孩的視角,敘述對摯愛籃球的告白與道別,讓我們有機會一窺他紫金戰袍下的內心世界。

Dear Basketball,

From the moment

I started rolling my dad’s tube socks
And shooting imaginary
Game-winning shots
In the Great Western Forum
I knew one thing was real:

I fell in love with you.

And shooting imaginary Game-winning shots In the Great Western Forum

Great Western Forum 體育館是早期湖人隊的主場,Kobe進入NBA的頭兩年也都在該場館比賽,身為從小就是湖人忠實球迷的Kobe坦言:「能夠在這隻的球隊效力二十年,你還能奢求什麼呢?」。

A love so deep I gave you my all —
From my mind & body
To my spirit & soul.

As a six-year-old boy
Deeply in love with you
I never saw the end of the tunnel.
I only saw myself
Running out of one.

在高手雲集的NBA裡,Kobe論天賦恐怕不及許多優秀的球員,然而讓它足以成為傳奇的條件,則是他苛刻的自我要求,最著名的例子是他總是在凌晨四點起床自主訓練。

And so I ran.
I ran up and down every court
After every loose ball for you.
You asked for my hustle
I gave you my heart
Because it came with so much more. 

I played through the sweat and hurt
Not because challenge called me
But because YOU called me.
I did everything for YOU
Because that’s what you do
When someone makes you feel as
Alive as you’ve made me feel.

You gave a six-year-old boy his Laker dream
And I’ll always love you for it.
But I can’t love you obsessively for much longer.
This season is all I have left to give.
My heart can take the pounding
My mind can handle the grind
But my body knows it’s time to say goodbye.

2013年對上當時正崛起的勇士隊,拉鋸戰的最後幾分鐘,Kobe在切入時要到犯規卻倒地,事後確認當時他的阿基里斯腱已斷裂,然而在那劇痛之下,他仍然憑著堅強的意志力,以單腳支撐將兩次罰球投進。這次的受傷是他生涯重要的轉捩點,因傷缺席了近一個球季後,他逐漸接受即將退休的事實。

And that’s OK.
I’m ready to let you go.
I want you to know now
So we both can savor every moment we have left together.
The good and the bad. 
We have given each other
All that we have.  

Kobe在生涯最終戰的賽後演說中表示,讓他為湖人隊與球迷感最驕傲的並不是那些冠軍,而是戰績低迷的那幾年,因為所有人一起挺過痛苦的時刻,直到他們再度奪冠。

And we both know, no matter what I do next
I’ll always be that kid
With the rolled up socks
Garbage can in the corner
:05 seconds on the clock
Ball in my hands.
5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1

Love you always,
Kobe

這封簡短的公開信總結了Kobe 20年精彩的球員生涯,雖然訴說對象是「籃球」,但對生涯中一切人事物的感激溢於言表,文末“I’ll always be that kid…”象徵著他永遠不變的赤子之心,也毫無遺憾地,從容開啟人生的下個篇章。

 

#Dear Basketball 動畫短片

Kobe 與迪士尼動畫導演Glen Keane合作,將此封公開信拍成5分鐘的動畫短片,由Kobe本人親自朗讀內文,搭配孩童時代生涯各時期的蒙太奇動畫影像,加上電影配樂大師John Williams的音樂,一舉拿下2018第90屆奧斯卡最佳動畫短片獎項,Kobe表示與拿下MVP同樣興奮。

 

#Mamba Out

Kobe在生涯最終場比賽後向球迷發表簡短演說,最後以「Mamba Out」(黑曼巴下台一鞠躬)與一個飛吻作結,隨後將麥克風放置地上。這個率性的動作隨後被當時即將卸任的歐巴馬總統效法,在他最後一次白宮晚宴發表的演說中,用「Obama Out」以及相同的飛吻動作作結,更為了效果丟下了一支假的麥克風。

 


 本文收錄於英語島English Island 2018年5月號

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