Mamba Mentality Lives On

Fans mourn Kobe Bryant outside LA Live on Jan. 26, mere hours after the news broke of Bryant’s tragic death. (Photos courtesy of Cynthia Mindicino)

Curtis Liu, Online Editor


On Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020, Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna were involved in a helicopter incident that tragically took away their lives and those of seven others, sending shockwaves throughout the world. 

Students at PVHS reflected on the impact of the multi-generational icon Kobe Bryant.  

“Everything about Kobe, from his uncanny ability to play basketball to his mamba mentality, left me wanting to do what he did every day on the court,” junior William Engstrom said.

 “He showed me what it was like to achieve greatness through hard work and determination,” Engstrom said.

Kobe Bryant was a generational talent that transformed the game of basketball. 

Being one of the few successful basketball players to go from high school to the league, Kobe Bryant showed the world what hard work and dedication can achieve.

Early in his career, Bryant came off the bench for starters Eddie Jones and Nick Van Exel. 

At the time, he became the youngest player to play in an NBA game. 

During All-Star Weekend, Bryant won the 1997 Slam Dunk Contest, becoming the youngest player to do so. 

In a close elimination game versus the Utah Jazz and his teammate in foul trouble, a young Kobe stepped up to be the primary scoring option. 

He proceeded to airball four game-changing shots, leading the Lakers to an early playoff exit. 

That would have easily crushed a young player’s mindset, but this was not the case for Kobe Bryant.

Known as a fierce competitor and a student of the game, Bryant stood up to challenges. As he once stated, Kobe “likes [his] rings the hard way.” 

Nothing was going to stop Kobe from working hard, even at his lowest moments. 

Fast forward a few years, Kobe Bryant delivered a three-peat for the Los Angeles Lakers along with his teammate Shaquille O’Neal.

Throughout his career, Kobe has delivered countless stellar performances, night after night. 

Some of his greatest moments include the 81 point game versus the Toronto Raptors in 2006, back-to-back championships in 2009 and 2010 over the Orlando Magic and Boston Celtics, respectively, and his 60 point farewell game against the Utah Jazz in 2016. In the later parts of Kobe’s career, he suffered several significant injuries, the most well known being a torn Achilles. 

Even after the injury, Bryant stepped up to the free throw line and sank both shots, securing the Laker win.

 Through his focus and perseverance, Kobe showed everyone what the word determination meant.

Being a true icon to the game of basketball, Bryant’s number 8 and 24 jerseys were retired by the Los Angeles Lakers soon after his retirement.

“Kobe was a role model for me and many others,” senior Sal Russo said.

“His mamba mentality has inspired others to work as hard as they possibly can to achieve their goals, no matter the circumstances,” Russo said.

There will always be students of the game working hard to reach their goals, following the footsteps of Kobe Bryant. 

While Kobe Bryant may be gone, his mentality will be forever instilled in Los Angeles and beyond, generation after generation.

“It’s sad to see him go, but Kobe will live on in our hearts with the impact that he has made on so many people,” Russo said.

 

On Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020, Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna were involved in a helicopter incident that tragically took away their lives and those of seven others, sending shockwaves throughout the world. 

Students at PVHS reflected on the impact of the multi-generational icon Kobe Bryant.  

“Everything about Kobe, from his uncanny ability to play basketball to his mamba mentality, left me wanting to do what he did every day on the court,” junior William Engstrom said.

 “He showed me what it was like to achieve greatness through hard work and determination,” Engstrom said.

Kobe Bryant was a generational talent that transformed the game of basketball. 

Being one of the few successful basketball players to go from high school to the league, Kobe Bryant showed the world what hard work and dedication can achieve.

Early in his career, Bryant came off the bench for starters Eddie Jones and Nick Van Exel. 

At the time, he became the youngest player to play in an NBA game. 

During All-Star Weekend, Bryant won the 1997 Slam Dunk Contest, becoming the youngest player to do so. 

In a close elimination game versus the Utah Jazz and his teammate in foul trouble, a young Kobe stepped up to be the primary scoring option. 

He proceeded to airball four game-changing shots, leading the Lakers to an early playoff exit. 

That would have easily crushed a young player’s mindset, but this was not the case for Kobe Bryant.

Known as a fierce competitor and a student of the game, Bryant stood up to challenges. As he once stated, Kobe “likes [his] rings the hard way.” 

Nothing was going to stop Kobe from working hard, even at his lowest moments. 

Fast forward a few years, Kobe Bryant delivered a three-peat for the Los Angeles Lakers along with his teammate Shaquille O’Neal.

Throughout his career, Kobe has delivered countless stellar performances, night after night. 

Some of his greatest moments include the 81 point game versus the Toronto Raptors in 2006, back-to-back championships in 2009 and 2010 over the Orlando Magic and Boston Celtics, respectively, and his 60 point farewell game against the Utah Jazz in 2016. In the later parts of Kobe’s career, he suffered several significant injuries, the most well known being a torn Achilles. 

Even after the injury, Bryant stepped up to the free throw line and sank both shots, securing the Laker win.

 Through his focus and perseverance, Kobe showed everyone what the word determination meant.

Being a true icon to the game of basketball, Bryant’s number 8 and 24 jerseys were retired by the Los Angeles Lakers soon after his retirement.

“Kobe was a role model for me and many others,” senior Sal Russo said.

“His mamba mentality has inspired others to work as hard as they possibly can to achieve their goals, no matter the circumstances,” Russo said.

There will always be students of the game working hard to reach their goals, following the footsteps of Kobe Bryant. 

While Kobe Bryant may be gone, his mentality will be forever instilled in Los Angeles and beyond, generation after generation.

“It’s sad to see him go, but Kobe will live on in our hearts with the impact that he has made on so many people,” Russo said.