The Los Angeles Lakers recently retired both of Kobe Bryant’s jerseys in an tribute to Bryant’s legendary, 20 year career with the Lakers. We all know the numerous accolades Kobe has attained from the championships, MVPs, and injuries he has overcome along the way.
Throughout it all Kobe has continued one thing: the mamba mentality. Kobe referred to this mindset in a 2016 interview with ABC, “It’s a constant quest to try to be better today than you were yesterday”.
Kobe’s legacy transcends his accolades; it’s his mentality that lives on.
When Kyrie Irving hit the shot to win the Finals in Game 7, he credited the mamba mentality right after for his mental state to take and make the greatest shot of his career. When Lonzo Ball was called a bust after two summer league games, he wore Kobe’s shoes to his third summer league game. He said he needed to reach the mamba mentality, and went on to drop 36 points, 11 rebounds, and 8 assists. That mentality took him to a Summer League MVP shortly after.
The mentality is something anyone can add to their lives. It just depends on how badly you want to beat and best the hurdles that lie ahead of you. It’s putting in the extra work that no one else has put in, despite what people say your chances are. To have that same anger and ferocity Kobe had every single game to not simply do better than those around you, but o push beyond. It roots from complete focus on bettering yourself everyday until you reach whatever it is you set out to do.
For some this sounds alien, impossible, or pointless. Maybe you don’t think the payoff will outweigh the work you put in. But once you achieve you will realize it’s not about the goal it’s about the work you put in and how the journey changed you as a person. That payoff will always be worth it.
You just have to want it as much as you need to breathe, it has to be among your top priorities and you have to be willing to make sacrifices. And if you don’t want whatever lies ahead of you one hundred percent, then ask yourself why you’re even doing it.
This may sound intimidating, like climbing Everest. But by breaking it down one region, one boulder, one step at a time anything can seem simply.
Lots of players have won championships, MVPs, and overcome far worse injuries than Kobe Bryant. But what makes Kobe truly iconic is his mentality that lives on through everyone who saw him play in a Lakers jersey.
Someone wins the championship every year, what is truly remembered is who you are able to touch and influence those around you. And there is not doubt the mamba mentality did just that.