Remembering the ‘Mamba Mentality’

One year after Kobe Bryant’s fatal crash his impact is as strong as ever

Garrett Rodgers, Staff Writer

Image of Kobe Bryant fan items and his book about the ‘Mamba Mentality’ created by Jada Boner

Ever since I started paying attention to sports, the one sport that stood out most to me was basketball. I’ve wanted to be as good as possible since I picked up a basketball at the age of 8. Anyone who had similar experiences with the sport probably watched some of the best players in the world hoping to be just like them. Many people, especially at my age, looked up to exceptional professional players, such as Kobe Bean Bryant. 

He was the epitome of greatness for basketball players, at least in my opinion. The fadeaways, the dunks, the championships, and the non stop pursuit of greatness, all made him unique and special. That last part always stands out to me more than the rest of them though. He couldn’t have done all of those plays without working tirelessly at them between games and in the off season.

 My favorite player is Dirk Nowitzki, and it always will be. The Lakers and Mavs had countless battles on the court and the two legends went at it each time. From what I can remember sadly, Bryant and the Lakers won more than Nowitzki and the Mavs did. During those losses, I would be mad because we lost, but after reflecting back on those precious moments getting to watch and dream of being like those guys, I was lucky to get to watch someone like Bryant doing what he loved, and doing it almost better than anyone had ever done it before him. I always take that with me, because I now understand to be as good as you want to be at something, you have to work for it. 

Bryant, more than anyone else for some reason, seemed invincible. I don’t know why, but he just seemed like he should have been the last person to die in something like a helicopter crash. That’s how many saw him, larger than life itself. That’s what he meant to everyone who ever watched him play. It’s extremely sad that we can’t get to watch him post basketball, because he was surely going to bring that mindset he had on the court to the other things he endured. He won an Oscar for best animated short film. Something I have never heard of a player accomplishing in their post basketball career. He was a truly remarkable person, and someone anyone could look up to. His example to work hard and never be satisfied, what was dubbed the “mamba mentality”, is applicable to any profession or person. He changed the way people looked at the sport and how I wanted to approach the game and life.

He changed it forever.