Mamba Mentality: The Legacy of Kobe Bryant

Whether you are a basketball fan or not, the name Kobe Bryant rings a bell for almost everyone. You’d be lying if you said you didn’t shout “Kobe” while tossing balls of paper into a trash can. Kobe Bryant’s success is so widely known that he has become a household name. The Lakers player, husband and father of four tragically passed away on January 26, 2020, alongside eight others, including his 13-year-old daughter Gianna Maria-Onore Bryant. The sudden death sent shockwaves and pure sadness around the world as we all suddenly began to learn the realities of the nightmare that unfolded that Sunday morning.


But this story is much more than a basketball player losing his life. And by player I mean absolute legend. Bryant entered the NBA immediately after graduating high school and went on to win 5 NBA championships. The Philadelphia native played twenty seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers before retiring in 2016. Bryant engaged Vanessa after just six months of dating and the two were married in 2001. Together they have four daughters: Natalia, Gianna, Bianka, and Capri.


Bryant was also extremely philanthropic: supporting causes such as Stand Up to Cancer and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. He was the official ambassador for After-School- All-Stars, which is a national children’s charity that provides after school programs to nearly 72,000 inner-city children.


Following the news, UConn’s women’s basketball honored Kobe and Gianna by draping their jerseys over chairs along with placing flowers down in memory of the two. A 24 second moment of silence was held before the start of the game to honor the lives lost since Bryant wore #24 on his jersey. Lakers fans brought flowers, candles, jerseys and items to create a large memorial outside of the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Former teammates of Bryant and friends of Bryant such as Lebron James have posted on social media and spoke about the tragedy.


This story hits home for everyone and it isn’t the stats and phenomenal free throws we are focused on, it’s the message of family and love. Eight others along Bryant lost their lives that morning. This story stands as a reminder that nothing is guaranteed in life. Call that person that you haven’t spoken to in a while. Hug your loved ones tighter. Remind the people you love that you love them and never stop checking in on those around you.


Mamba Mentality is “a constant quest to find answers. It’s that infinite curiosity to want to better, to figure things out. Mamba mentality is you’re going, you’re competing, you’re not worried about the end result” Kobe explained. Take this story as a reminder to overcome the challenges in your life and always work on bettering yourself and those around you. Keep fighting your own fight and always rising above any obstacles. 


Life is short. Don’t wait. Make it count.


“Everything negative-pressure, challenges- is all an opportunity for me to rise.” - Kobe Bryant