“Mamba Mentality”- More Than Just a Saying

On January 26, 2020, the world stopped when news began to spread that former NBA superstar Kobe Bryant had been killed in a helicopter crash along with eight others – including his 13-year-old daughter Gianna Maria-Onore Bryant.

This was a tragedy that hit home and resonated with the entire world. One that made many realize that although life can be a lot of things, the one thing that we must not forget is that it is short and precious – and can all be snatched away in an instant.


As condolences and sympathy began to pour in from all over in remembrance of Kobe Bryant and his beloved GiGi, one thing that many began to reflect on was that Kobe would want us all to take on his “Mamba Mentality” and press forward- no matter how hard it may seem.

The Black Mamba was the nickname that Kobe gave himself, inspired by the film ‘Kill Bill’. In the movie, the mamba snake referred to deadly assassins- something that he was whenever he stepped onto that basketball court.


Kobe defined “Mamba Mentality”, noting that it  “ 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.”


As we continue to remember Kobe Bryant- here are 8 ways that we can keep the legacy of his “Mamba Mentality” alive:


  • Accept that there will never be another you in the world. In his prime, the Black Mamba was the best scorer that the NBA had ever seen and there will never be another Kobe Bryant- he knew this and held himself to that standard. Just as we must find what it is that we do best and hold ourselves to the highest standard in whatever that may be.
  • Always work toward making yourself better. Kobe was known for always being the very first and last person in the gym because he was constantly working on ways to enhance his craft and find better ways to play the game. For us, we must find out what our “game” is and always work toward getting better at it
  • Don’t place limitations on the work that you can do. We can always find ways to enhance our selves and get better- remember this doesn’t have to be limited to one thing. Find those areas of your life that you’d like to improve on and keep at it until you reach your goals.
  • You’re never too important to lend a helping hand. A video of Kobe helping out victims in a car crash in 2018 goes to show that you’re never too “larger than life” to help those in need. Beyond this, he and wife Vanessa Bryant started The Kobe Bryant and Vanessa Bryant Family Foundation– a public charity dedicated to improving the lives of youth and families in need. Note that no matter who you are, you can make a difference in someone else’s life.
  • You can always reinvent yourself- no matter what point you’re at in life. Kobe Bryant played for the Los Angeles Lakers for his entire 20-year career, but midway through he made the infamous change from No. 8 to No. 24. Kobe said that “24 is a growth” reminding us that it’s alright to grow as life progresses and leave old things behind that no longer serve us.
  • “If you want to be great in a particular area, you have to obsess over it.”Kobe once said as he discussed the power of obsession. This means you’ve got to hone in on what really ignites a fire inside of you and never stop until you achieve that end goal and beyond.
  • Failure is inevitable. Kobe stressed the importance of learning from your mistakes and allowing it to teach you ways in which you can improve. Don’t let the fear of failing stop you from going after what you want in life- failure is merely a stepping stone to achieving those life goals.
  • Love yours. If anything, the tragic death of Kobe Bryant, daughter GiGi, and the seven others involved in the crash stresses the importance of loving on your family and friends while they’re here. Everyone could see how much of a devoted father and husband Kobe was to his family- it was something that he truly took pride in. Take pride in loving those closest to you and cherishing every moment.
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