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18 December 2019

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The Mortality Of Iconic Figures

Remember where you were when you got word that one of the celebrities you’ve followed closely, either fell terribly ill, or worse, had passed?

 

I remember clearly w James Gandolfini. W/ certain celebs, whether we personally met them or not, we feel like we “knew” them. W/ Gandolfini, it was his portrayal of Tony Soprano that made you feel like you knew the man. Bc of that role & how well he played it, many of us thought he was immortal. Untouchable. Until he wasn’t.

 

Similar feelings for me towards Stuart Scott from SportsCenter. Back in the day when ESPN was our main sports viewing option, he was the guy who was “as cool as the other side of the pillow.” You never thought w the passion he brought to sportscasting, that he’d ever succumb to a terminal illness. He seemed too strong. Until he wasn’t.

 

Even for celebs who haven’t passed, but we just hear have fallen sick, it’s hard to imagine them not being that “untouchable” icon we remember, seemingly perfect, playing their “role.”

 

Shared in stories last night, that my former boss at the NBA league office, an icon in the industry, Commissioner emeritus, David Stern, is in serious condition, surrounded by fam, after suffering a brain hemorrhage. It’s something that’s hard for me to even picture.

 

David was the face of the NBA from an exec standpoint, as names like “Magic, Larry, & Michael” became household ones.

 

Watching from afar, as a kid, I marveled at his charisma on TV, when all the cameras were on him. Even marveled at his ability to say the right things at the right time – like when he sat next to Magic as he revealed his news regarding HIV.

 

Then I got to meet & work for David. Despite being in sessions w him, even reporting to him in his office, 1-on-1 on certain programs, bc of his “larger than life” persona, the way I felt towards him as a kid, never wore off. Just like Jerry West, David’s likeness stood up there w the NBA Logo itself in terms of things to be revered.

 

And again, now, it’s hard to imagine him NOT running a conference, completely in control. Loss of an iconic figure, or the potential of, can impact us all, greatly. Shock our system. #SameHere🤙

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