Mamba Mentality, Kobe Bryant

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 02: BodyArmor investor Kobe Bryant speaks to media during the UFC BodyArmor partnership announcement inside Madison Square Garden on November 2, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

The ‘Mamba Mentality’ lives on through MMA

The sports world as a whole was crushed by the news of Kobe Bryant’s passing — along with eight other helicopter passengers, including his daughter Gianna — on Jan. 26.

As a huge Kobe fan myself, hearing the news went from surreal to downright devastating over the course of the subsequent hours and even days.

But if there’s one piece of solace I took from this horrible tragedy, it’s that the love and respect people have for Kobe poured out in waves, not only from sports fans, athletes, coaches, and front-office executives but also from many who might not have ever even seen Bryant play a basketball game before. Those individuals still felt his impact and had likely heard of the “Mamba Mentality” — something that anyone from any walk of life can learn and grow from.

The Mamba Mentality, which stems from Bryant’s nickname “The Black Mamba,” is something that a lot of MMA fighters virtually have to have in order to be successful. In fact, it can be argued that it’s never more applicable than when it comes to those who literally fight for a living. It’s the idea that through hard work, preparation, and unwavering tenacity, incredible amounts of success can be achieved. Striving to be the best and succeeding at it was Kobe’s M.O. He did it throughout his basketball career, jumping straight from high school to the NBA in 1996 and going on to win five championships with the Los Angeles Lakers over the course of 20 years in the league.

But his tireless work ethic and no-nonsense demeanor extended beyond the hardwood. Bryant’s post-retirement chapter of his life showed him as a loving father of four girls, an ambassador for basketball around the world and, perhaps more importantly, girl’s/women’s basketball, and a budding hoops analyst who was doing some great work recently with ESPN.

No doubt, the world lost a special person way too soon. But the MMA community was sure to pay homage to the “super athlete,” “leader,” “motivator,” “legend,” and “champion” that was Kobe Bean Bryant.

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