The era of Kobe Bryant is unfortunately over, in fact the decade in which he retired is over. New players will emerge and begin to fill the different roles of older iconic athletes and many basketball players’ legacies will likely get swept under the rug and be forgotten about. But one player’s legacy that will not be lost is Kobe Bryant, not just because he won five NBA titles, but because of his “Mamba Mentality.”
Here are five reasons why Kobe’s Mamba Mentality is super-human:
1. According to Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant is the only basketball player to have the same work-ethic.
Roland Lazenby recorded Jordan saying in his book, “Michael Jordan: The Life,” that “Kobe had done that work to deserve the comparison. He says Kobe’s the only one to have done the work.”
2. He would show up to practice at 5 a.m. and then leave at 7 a.m. to go to high school!
The hard part about doing this was that Bryant’s routine was completely disrupted before school. Knowing what it is like to practice basketball before school myself, Kobe would have had to shower, change, and eat a substantial meal after practice before heading to his first class. This must have been extremely stressful, but the Mamba was determined to be the best possible version of himself that he could be.
3. Kobe would make his teammates in high school play him one-on-one to 100!
Bryant’s teammates must have been extremely worn out. Kobe reportedly played a benchwarmer on his team 100 times. In his worst game, he won 100-12.
4. Byron Scott, former Lakers player and coach, said that once he found Kobe at age 18 shooting hoops two hours before practice, in a dark gym!
According to an interview with Business Insider, Scott said:“I heard the ball bouncing. No lights were on. Practice was at about 11, it was probably about 9, 9:30. And I go out to the court and I look, and there’s Kobe Bryant. He’s out there shooting in the dark. And I stood there for probably about ten seconds, and I said, ‘This kid is gonna be great.'”
5. John Celestand, former teammate of Bryant, said that Kobe was always the first one at practice, even when he was injured!
During the 1999-2000 NBA season, Celestand was excited to finally be able to beat his Kobe to the gym after he had broken his arm, especially because Bryant lived over 30 minutes away from the practice facility. But when he made it to practice,“Kobe was already in a full sweat with a cast on his right arm and dribbling and shooting with his left.” Contrary to public opinion, the Mamba Mentality is not just exclusive to Kobe, it can be picked up by anyone that wants to pursue anything in life. That said, it takes the self-discipline, perseverance, and grit of a group of very exclusive people to adapt this mentality in its purest form. The awesome part about the Mamba work ethic in a new decade is that someone could be read this — and by putting these traits into practice, they could become the next Mamba.
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