Yesterday, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist attended the world premiere of Disney’s new “The Lion King” in Hollywood, and while normally, an NBA star going to a movie premiere is no big deal, in MKG’s case, it’s the circle of life.
During their time at Kentucky, Anthony Davis told reporters Kidd-Gilchrist used to watch “The Lion King” almost every night. In a Sports Illustrated feature by Lee Jenkins in 2015, we found out that’s because he used to watch it with his father, who was shot and killed a month before MKG turned three. To this day, MKG carries the DVD with him wherever he goes.
Kidd-Gilchrist is rummaging through his backpack on the 14th floor of the JW Marriott in downtown Los Angeles, searching for a DVD of The Lion King, which he carries almost everywhere he goes. His earliest memories are of watching the movie with his father, Michael Gilchrist Sr. He was Simba. His dad was Mufasa. They bought the stuffed animals. They recited the lines. In August 1996, a month before the boy’s third birthday, Michael Sr. was shot and killed in a still-unsolved murder on the east side of Camden, N.J. Michael says he remembers the last time they were together. “We were in bed,” he says, “watching The Lion King.” At the funeral, he slid the Simba doll into the casket.
Flash forward to yesterday, when Michael was able to take his mother, Cindy Richardson, down the red carpet at the Dolby Theatre to see Disney’s remake of the film, which stars Donald Glover, Beyonce, Seth Rogan, and a bevy of Hollywood stars.
It’s only a matter of time before MKG watches the new version with his newborn son, Ekim.
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Dear Ekim, (Before he Was Born) There is a burning desire in my Heart . Some shit I never ever felt before, I look forward to meeting you for the first time. You can probably tell how much love I have for you from Miles & Miles away . Daddy’s side of the family been thru a lot & so has Mommy’s. The one thing I will forever peach to you is that Our Family is a Village . A Village that is Safe . Overtime you will witness pain, disappointment, failure. That’s okay because just like Mya you will be Built For Life . 24/7 Mommy & I will put our blood, sweat & tears into you. FYI your Grandma’s can’t wait for you to get here . In Due Time . I Love you !!