Kobe Bryant is one of the greatest athletes that have graced the hardwood. Some people might argue that he’s the GOAT. I think he’s the GOAT-b while Jordan is the GOAT-a. But there is something that’s unique to Bryant that you can’t just find in someone else: he has the Mamba Mentality.
To understand what the Mamba Mentality is, we have to understand where the word came from. The word came from the Black Mamba snake — one of the deadliest predators out there. It might be the deadliest snake in the world. They’re fast, lethally venomous, and highly aggressive. Black Mamba’s have been blamed for numerous human deaths.
The Mamba Mentality is the character embodied by Bryant. In explaining what the mentality is, Bryant said: “To be able to constantly try to be the best version of yourself, that is what the mentality is.”
Unlike other players, Bryant’s Mamba Mentality is fueled by others’ hatred toward him, the pressure that is brought to the game, the countless hours of training, and an undying love for the game. He’s so competitive he’ll try to destroy you in a practice game, and he will. He’ll be the first to practice in the gym, and he will be the last one out. He’ll play through pain and won’t stop until he can’t walk anymore.
Even coach Phil Jackson said that he has never seen anyone work harder than Bryant, not even MJ. This mentality has been an inspiration to a lot of people even the younger NBA players. Some players try to emulate this kind of mentality. Russell Westbrook, Kahwi Leonard, and Kyrie Irving, just to name a few.