Kobe Bryant passed away suddenly Sunday, and it is hard to believe such an influential player and person is gone. As much as anyone, Kobe chased his goals obsessively, eliminated distractions, and tried to outwork everyone. His example to make the most of your opportunities, to build you craft and work hard for what you want, and to love those around you especially family will continue to affect and inspire others.
To me personally, Kobe was a source of education and motivation as a young person who loved basketball. When I was a freshman in high school, Kobe was in the height of his young career in LA, about to win his second championship with Shaq at the age of 22. I played basketball, but reading articles about Kobe on a big desktop computer at my dad’s house, I realized that Kobe trained basketball. Now obviously most all professionals train at an extremely high level to get and stay where they are, but Kobe was different. The things I read about him expressed his unrelenting nature to outwork others (competitive just to outlast people), his detailed approach to his craft (footwork drills for hours, thousands of makes in the off season), and his understanding that he was different because of his drive and goals, and that he was okay with that.
I decided to change my shot in high school and a coach asked me to shoot 2,500 shots from about six feet to build the muscle memory of the new form (higher release, less guide hand presence). As a 14 year old, I did it, working outside at a goal in the backyard at my dad’s house, at the hoop in the cul de sac at my mom’s house, and I was motivated by the work ethic and focus that I saw in Kobe. Not only did he make me want to get better, but he set an example that was easy to chase, but impossible to match. How many kids were motivated to do the same over his twenty year NBA career? How many young people developed their own Mamba Mentality watching greatness unfold throughout his playing days, and tried to develop his level of care and focus for their craft?
Kobe’s impact on people is hugely felt as you can see this week in the media. A life cut too short, but what a life lived as he clearly had strong relationships with his family members and a deep deep love for helping and inspiring others. I loved Kobe Bryant, but more importantly I respected his drive and wanted to emulate the way he fought hard for who he wanted to be and didn’t ever make excuses. Basketball fan or not, becoming a Kobe fan and really looking at how he lived his life will make us all better people.
"To sum up what Mamba Mentality is, it means to be able to constantly try to be the best version of yourself," Bryant said. "That is what the Mentality is," he added. "It's a constant quest to try to be better today than you were yesterday."
RIP Mamba. #8 #24
"Get Better" is our PEAK blog, providing you with content to help enhance your game, your mind, and your relentless pursuit of the process! Enjoy.
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