The world was stunned earlier this week when it was confirmed that the NBA Legend Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter accident along with his daughter Gianna, and seven others.
The Life of Kobe, AKA Black Mamba
Kobe Bryant lived in the Italy from the age of 6 into his teens after his father, former NBA player Joe “Jellybean” Bryant transitioned to the Italian league. Kobe left Italy in 1991 at 13, moving to Southern California where he not only made a career and a life, but where he also met his death.
Kobe was the first guard to be drafted directly from high school to the NBA in 1996 as the 13th overall pick by the Charlotte Hornets.
Kobe goes down as one of the greatest to ever play the basketball game, winning five championships, two NBA Finals MVPs and two Olympic gold medals, and currently ranking fourth in career scoring after Lebron James surpassed him on Saturday, 25th Jan 2020, a few hours before his untimely death.
A multilingual, Kobe spoke Italian, Spanish and English effortlessly. Outside the basketball court, his other obsession were family, -him being a father of four daughters-, a lifelong soccer fan supporting AC Milan and Barcelona, and business.
Bryant became the first player in NBA history to see two jerseys — the No. 8, which he wore from his rookie 1996-97 season to 2005-06, and No. 24, which he wore from 2006-07 till his final 2015-16 season — retired by the same team, LA Lakers.
About the Mamba Mentality…
In Kobe’s own words;
I came up with it during one of our tours, because I put the kids through so many drills and clinics and I just thought to myself ‘mamba mentality.’ I actually said it. This is what embodies the brand of what we stand for. To sum up what mamba mentality is, it means to be able to constantly try to be the best version of yourself, That is what the mentality is. It’s a constant quest to try to better today than you were yesterday. Mamba mentality is all about focusing on the process and trusting in the hard work when it matters most, it’s the ultimate mantra for the competitive spirit. It started just as a hashtag that came to me one day, and it’s grown into something athletes — and even non-athletes — embrace as a mindset. Hard work outweighs talent — every time. Mamba mentality is about 4 a.m. workouts, doing more than the next guy and then trusting in the work you’ve put in when it’s time to perform. Without studying, preparation and practice, you’re leaving the outcome to fate. I don’t do fate.
Here are 24 Quotes from Kobe Bryant to enforce the Mamba Mentality.
- Everything negative – pressure, challenges – is all an opportunity for me to rise.
- I’ll do whatever it takes to win games, whether it’s sitting on a bench waving a towel, handing a cup of water to a teammate, or hitting the game-winning shot.
- I don’t want to be the next Michael Jordan, I only want to be Kobe Bryant.
- Dedication sees dreams come true.
- I’ve shot too much from the time I was 8 years old. But ‘too much’ is a matter of perspective. Some people thought Mozart had too many notes in his compositions. Let me put it this way: I entertain people who say I shoot too much. I find it very interesting. Going back to Mozart, he responded to critics by saying there were neither too many notes or too few. There were as many as necessary.
- Be sad. Be mad. Be frustrated. Scream. Cry. Sulk. When you wake up you will think it was just a nightmare only to realize it’s all too real. You will be angry and wish for the day back, the game back THAT play back. But reality gives nothing back and nor should you.
- Great things come from hard work and perseverance. No excuses.
- Have a good time. Life is too short to get bogged down and be discouraged. You have to keep moving. You have to keep going. Put one foot in front of the other, smile and just keep on rolling.
- When we are saying this cannot be accomplished, this cannot be done, then we are short-changing ourselves. My brain, it cannot process failure. It will not process failure. Because if I have to sit there and face myself and tell myself ‘you are a failure,’ I think that is almost worse than dying.
- The important thing is that your teammates have to know you’re pulling for them and you really want them to be successful.
- When you make a choice and say, ‘Come hell or high water, I am going to be this,’ then you should not be surprised when you are that. It should not be something that is intoxicating or out of character because you have seen this moment for so long that … when that moment comes, of course it is here because it has been here the whole time, because it has been [in your mind] the whole time.
- I see the beauty in getting up in the morning and being in pain because I know all the hard work that it took to get to this point. So, I’m not, I’m not sad about [retiring]. I’m very appreciative of what I’ve had.
- The most important thing is to try and inspire people so that they can be great at whatever they want to do.
- The last time I was intimidated was when I was 6 years old in karate class. I was an orange belt and the instructor ordered me to fight a black belt who was a couple years older and a lot bigger. I was scared s–less. I mean, I was terrified and he kicked my ass. But then I realized he didn’t kick my ass as bad as I thought he was going to and that there was nothing really to be afraid of. That was around the time I realized that intimidation didn’t really exist if you’re in the right frame of mind.
- I have self-doubt. I have insecurity. I have fear of failure. I have nights when I show up at the arena and I’m like, ‘My back hurts, my feet hurt, my knees hurt. I don’t have it. I just want to chill.’ We all have self-doubt. You don’t deny it, but you also don’t capitulate to it. You embrace it.
- We all can be masters at our craft, but you have to make a choice. What I mean by that is, there are inherent sacrifices that come along with that. Family time, hanging out with friends, being a great friend, being a great son, nephew, whatever the case may be. There are sacrifices that come along with making that decision.
- Winning takes precedence over all. There’s no gray area. No almosts.
- I’m reflective only in the sense that I learn to move forward. I reflect with a purpose.
- A lot of leaders fail because they don’t have the bravery to touch that nerve or strike that chord.
- I create my own path. It was straight and narrow. I looked at it this way: you were either in my way, or out of it.
- Pain doesn’t tell you when you ought to stop. Pain is the little voice in your head that tries to hold you back because it knows if you continue you will change.
- There’s a big misconception where people thinking winning or success comes from everybody putting their arms around each other and singing kumbaya and patting them on the back when they mess up, and that’s just not reality. If you are going to be a leader, you are not going to please everybody. You have to hold people accountable. Even if you have that moment of being uncomfortable.
- We can always kind of be average and do what’s normal. I’m not in this to do what’s normal.
- It’s the one thing you can control. You are responsible for how people remember you—or don’t. So don’t take it lightly.