Mamba Mentality: A Tribute to Kobe Bryant

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Christian Schwindt, Sports Editor

   On Sunday January 26, 2020, Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna Bryant, and seven others passed away in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. The days after Kobe Bryant’s passing left a lasting impression on people across the world. Fans mourned the loss of a legend by donning purple and gold Lakers jerseys with the number 8 or 24, attending candlelight vigils, and watching highlights of Kobe’s greatest accomplishments. 

     Everyone has their favorite memory of Kobe Bryant, number 8 or 24, ‘frobe’ or bald Kobe, 81 points against the Toronto Raptors, 60 points in his final game, and many more. “My favorite memory or image of Kobe was him in his old school Lakers letterman jacket holding the championship trophy,” said North Creek High School freshman and basketball player Lyla Kahrimanovic. But what Kobe held throughout his illustrious career and even after basketball, was his Mamba mentality—the driving force that keeps someone going, the mindset of a winner. “Whenever I feel terrible doing runs, workouts at 8am, I think of the Mamba mentality,” said Kahrimanovic. 

     Kobe Bryant’s drive is what won him five NBA championships, a 2008 MVP award, and multiple other accolades. The Mamba mentality is about putting in the time, work, and effort in order to be the very best that you can be no matter what obstacles are in someone’s way. “He was the standard of excellence to me,” said Kahrimanovic.

     Most people that watched Kobe Bryant had a favorite memory of his, whether it be related to a moment in his basketball career, or another personal significant moment or memory. “I had a recording of the tribute at Staples Center on my cable box, when I was deleting things I absolutely could not delete it no matter what,” said Kahrimanovic.

     After Kobe Bryant’s basketball career was over, he spent his life being the best dad he could be. He left behind three girls Capri, Natalia, and Bianka Bryant with their mother, and his wife, Vanessa. The relationship Kobe had with all his daughters was something unique, there are many pictures showing Kobe and Gianna sitting courtside at Lakers games talking about basketball and having a great time. 

    Their relationship was similar to a lot of fathers and daughters all over the world, some relating to basketball and some not. “The relationship with his daughter is similar to me and my Dad. I was the same age as Kobe’s daughter and my Dad was the same age as Kobe’s. I always wanted to play against his daughter,” said Kahrimanovic.

    It has been over a year since the tragic helicopter crash that took the lives of Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and seven others on board. Kobe Bryant’s legacy will live on for generations to come. His desire to be the best, the Mamba mentality, and the relationship he had with his daughters will continue to inspire the next generation of athletes, and people all over the world forever.