It’s impossible to scroll social media without coming across the many heartfelt tributes to Kobe Bryant. Sunday, the world received the crushing news that the helicopter carrying Kobe Bryant and eight other passengers, including is 13-year-old daughter, had crashed into a Calabasas hillside.
His sudden and tragic death inspired an outpour of motivating stories about the man he was on and off the court. He is being remembered as a man who gave played wholeheartedly by embracing what he coined “Mamba Mentality.”
“You asked for my hustle, I gave you my heart” -Kobe Bryant
Kobe changed the game of basketball by creating a mantra that lived up to his standard for greatness and work ethic. His “Mamba Mentality” made him one of the greatest players in the game of basketball, and it made him an even greater man behind the scenes.
In these days following his devastating death, much has been said to support and oppose his greatness. No matter which side you choose, in regards to his nuanced legacy, his talent is undeniable. It elevated him.
During an interview with Amazon Book Review, Kobe said,
“Mamba mentality is all about focusing on the process and trusting in the hard work when it matters most,” and that Mamba mentality is “the ultimate mantra for the competitive spirit. While most see Mamba mentality as something specifically for athletes, the truth is we all can win in the game of life by adopting the Mamba mentality. Below you will find three components of this mantra that are guaranteed to evoke positive results.
1. Hard Work
Hard work will always produce great results over time. Kobe believed that, “hard work outweighs talent”. There is no denying the fact that in life you will encounter individuals whose gifts in certain areas exceed yours. However, hard work can intensify how your gifts are received because your performance will speak for you.
Your hard work should always be paired with confidence. You should believe in yourself and what your hard work will produce in spite of. Since Kobe entered the league, fresh out of high school he was accused of being cocky. I personally like to call Kobe’s attitude confidence but either way, he believed in himself. Kobe’s confidence allowed him to move without hesitation, it also intimidated less confident opponents. While Kobe was often compared to greats that came before him, he believed in himself so much so that he only wanted to be the best version of Kobe Bryant he could be. When compared to basketball great Michael Jordan, Kobe confidently said, “I don’t want to be the next Michael Jordan, I only want to be Kobe Bryant.” Understand, Confidence is key and believing directly affects what you achieve because success requires a certain level of boldness.
3. Kill Everything
The name “Black Mamba” was born from Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill. In the film, the mamba snake referred to deadly assassins; according to Kobe his goal was always to, “to kill the opposition.” Not a literal death but one that eliminates the competitions while raising the bar. This kill everything mentality leaves no room for anything other than success. No matter the game, a dominate mindset is vital in order to win. You must murder everything that stands between you and a victory. It’s either kill or be killed and I’m positive you didn’t start your journey to take an L.
I say with complete confidence and great sadness that Kobe Bryant will be missed tremendously. However, I find peace in know that through his hard work, love and acts of kindness his legacy will live forever.