If we learned one thing from Kobe, it would be that he let nothing stop him from learning how to do something, even if it meant that it was going to be painful. He played through massive amounts of pain, because he was obsessed with winning & to one day be considered the best to ever play the game. I love Kobe’s mentality when it came to this & many other things relating to Mamba-mentality (for those who don’t know, the black mamba was his nickname, which refers to a kind of snake that’s relentless in its attack & deadliness). A lot of it is good for someone like me to channel & integrate it into my own way of being, however not all of it was healthy & sometimes, this way of being didn’t work. My mentor would often say, “you always want to be appropriate to the situation”; that means that one mentality won’t work for every situation & person. Mamba mentality, for the most part, worked for him, especially on the basketball court, but with some exceptions. For one, I didn’t think he winded down his career in the most graceful way, nor did his game necessarily really transition at all toward the end. Some might argue & say that this way of being slowed down the transition for the Lakers to move forward without him when he retired. However, he was always true to himself & we knew it – we always knew we we’re gonna get “Mamba Mentality” whether it worked or not … & for the most part, we saw that it did. I will always respect that, however for my own self, I also consider that notion of “always be appropriate to the situation” … always be & do according to what any particular situation calls for & requires. So it’s never one way, or one thing. Also, certain ways of being might work well on the court or field, but don’t necessarily translate at home or with intimate relationships. Sometimes with athletes & entertainers, we don’t get to see all the ways it doesn’t work for them. Each of us has our particular strengths & weaknesses; even mamba mentality & Kobe has weaknesses; for those like me who payed attention, we saw those weaknesses clearly.
Like Kobe said, “it’s important to work on your weaknesses, & not just highlight your strengths” – & for the most part, he did that & that’s part of what made him so great. Having said that, we also must celebrate & come to accept that, these differences & weaknesses in each of us, are also what makes us so different & thats okay too. Kobe was a very polarizing person; either you loved him or hated him. And for those of us in SoCal or wherever you are, he is & always will be our guy – the good, the bad, & the ugly. I think it’s a good idea to see everyone like that & not expect any different. For Kobe, having a mamba mentality in everything he did was what made him who he was & we will always love him for it.