When you think of Kobe Bryant, what do you think of? Personally, I think of Kobe as the closest we’ll ever get to Michael Jordan, and for him to be taken away from Earth, is just…. unbelievable. He was only 41 when he passed away, from a helicopter crash on January 26th, along with his daughter, Gianna, who was 13 at the time.
Kobe Bryant was a rare case, who joined the NBA draft after graduating from High School. He was selected in the 13th overall pick by the Charlotte Hornets in 1996, and then was quickly dealt to the Los Angeles Lakers for Vlade Divac. After joining the Lakers, he became a player who is now discussed in the GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) talk, right up there with Michael Jordan. In his career, Kobe won MVP once, the Finals five times, and Finals MVP once.
Kobe revolutionized the game with his Mamba Mentality. The Mamba Mentality focuses on more than just basketball. As Kobe told Amazon Book Review, “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,” he continued. “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.” In fact, the Mamba Mentality became such a phenomenon that Kobe decided to write a book about it called The Mamba Mentality: How I Play. In this book, Kobe wrote about how we would always try to “kill the opposition.”
More than just basketball players felt the impact of Kobe Bryant and his death, one example being a Sikh temple in which priests wore Kobe Bryant jerseys to celebrate his life. In the NBA, for the All-Star game between Team Giannis and Team LeBron, the teams will be wearing 8 and 24, in tribute to Kobe.
No matter what, Kobe will always live on through our hearts. Kobe, if you can see this, we miss you…