Michael Jordan. Pavel Bure. Paul Kariya. Joe Sakic. Markus Naslund. Steve Nash. Ray Allen. Kobe Bryant. These were the athletes that I idolized growing up. They were leaders. They were my heroes. I spent thousands of hours memorizing their stats from their trading cards (pre-internet), studying their moves, and reading any newspaper article I could find on them. Once, I even won a speech contest talking about one of them (it's not who you think it is). In the playground, in my living room - I pretended I was them. As an only child, some of my greatest memories was with them. And yes, I still scream "Kobeee" when throwing paper balls into a trash can. I'm aware how feeble young Sam sounds, but sports fandom was a big chapter in my life.