Mamba Mentality

A few days ago, the Los Angeles Lakers played and ultimately outclassed the Portland Trailblazers in Game 4 of the first round of the NBA Playoffs. They now lead that series 3-1.

But it wasn't the masterclass on the court that anyone was really thinking about, there were other things going on that were bigger than basketball.

Firstly, it emerged earlier in the day that Police officials had shot an unarmed black man, Jacob Blake, in the back whilst his three sons watched on. Blake was taken to hospital in a serious condition, sparking violent protests.

But there was something else yesterday, you see 24/8 was Mamba Day.

Mamba Day, a day to remember and to celebrate the life of the great Kobe Bryant. Hard to believe that Kobe died the best part of 7 months ago, so much has happened since then that it seems like longer, yet Kobe's memories, his influence and inspiration are still so apparent and alive.

Kobe Bryant is that good, that he gave himself the nickname of the 'Mamba' and the Mamba Mentality was born.

Mamba Mentality? What is it?

It's about being the hardest worker in the gym, the classroom or the office. It's about being better tomorrow, than you were today. It's about being curious, getting beaten and getting back up and going again.

You see Kobe Bryant had immense talent, that's obvious, but combine naturally gifted skill with an unrivalled work ethic and that's the legacy that Kobe left behind. 20 seasons for the Los Angeles Lakers, a city that is known for the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, but is much more hard-working than the typical portrayal might suggest. Kobe embodied that more than anyone, Kobe had a work ethic no other.

“Those times when you get up early and you work hard, those times when you stay up late and you work hard, those times when you don't feel like working, you're too tired, you don't want to push yourself, but you do it anyway. That is actually the dream. That's the dream".

There are many things we can all learn from Kobe Bryant, his legacy and his greatness will live on forever. During his jersey retirement speech, Bryant gave a public message to his daughters that should resonate with anyone, "If you do the work, if you work hard enough, dreams come true".

I haven't spoken at all about his achievements, the 5 championships, 18 all-star appearances, 15 all-NBA selections, two finals MVP's and league MVP in 2008. The buzzer beaters, the 81 point game or 33,000 + in his career and of course his last game, in the house that Kobe built, the Staples Centre, 60 points and a come from behind win against the Utah Jazz.

Whoever was writing Kobe's scripts was doing a pretty damn good job until January 26, 2020. An inspiration and a legend. This past Sunday, August 23rd, Kobe Bryant would have turned 42, may he rest in peace.


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