Kobe Bryant is one of the greatest athletes that have graced the hardwood. Some people might argue that he’s the G.O.A.T. I think he’s the G.O.A.T-b while Jordan is the G.O.A.T-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 fully understand what the Mamba Mentality is, it is crucial to know where the word originated. It was inspired by the Black Mamba snake — one of the deadliest predators out there. The Black Mamba was fast, lethally venomous, and highly aggressive. In fact, the Black Mamba is responsible for a number of deaths.
The Mamba Mentality is the character embodied by Bryant. In explaining what the mentality is, Kobe said, “to be able to constantly try to be the best version of yourself, that is what the mentality is.”
Unlike other players, Kobe’s Mamba Mentality is fueled by others’ hatred toward him, the pressure that is brought by the game, hours of training, and a burning passion for the game. Bryant is extremely competitive that he’ll try to demolish you in a practice match. He’ll play through pain and will not stop until he can’t walk anymore.
Even Jackson acknowledged that he has never seen anyone work harder than Bryant, not even MJ. And Bryant’s mentality has served as an inspiration to a lot of people, including the younger NBA players. Plus, players such as Russell Westbrook, Kawhi Leonard, and Kyrie Irving try to emulate this kind of mentality.