Photo Credit: Derek Owens
NBA legend Kobe Bryant tragically died on January, 26th, at the tender age of 41. The cataclysmic helicopter accident that caused his death, along with that of his 13-year old daughter Gianna and seven others, has shocked the athletic community. Since his death, Professional athletes ranging in ethnicity, sport, and popularity have expressed their grief and respect for Kobe Bryant and his legacy.
Bryant won five championships with the Los Angeles Lakers during his 20-year career. He spent his entire career with the Lakers, raking up 18 All-Star appearances, 12 mentions on the All-Defensive team, as well as a league MVP. He also worked his way into the "G.O.A.T." or "greatest of all time" conversation with names such as Michael Jordan, Jerry West, and LeBron James. Kobe’s game mirrored that of Michael Jordan, becoming infamous for his unguardable fadeaway. Bryant’s fadeaway became so popular that many delight in saying “Kobe” when shooting anything into a trashcan. The practice that went into perfecting his trademark shot was effusive evidence of the Mamba mentality that was inspirational to so many.
The Mamba mentality was about more than basketball. It represents a whole-hearted belief in the idea that an immense amount of preparation because hard work leads to success. Kobe’s belief that consistent hard work allows the confidence needed for success resonates with athletes, fans, and people everywhere.
“I haven’t felt a pain that sharp in a while,” admitted an emotional Shaquille O'Neal during a TNT tribute to Kobe Bryant. Tears streaming down his face, he continued: “All the basketball idols I grew up [with], I see them, they're old ... the fact that we lost probably the world's greatest Laker, world's greatest basketball player ... People say take your time and get better. But it's going to be hard for me." Even Jerry West, who is not among those seen to have as public of a relationship with Bryant, said Bryant’s death was the "Saddest day of [his] life.”
Not only are the athletes and others closely associated with the basketball world saddened by this shocking event, but even people in the Babson community are affected by the trauma of Bryant’s passing. First-year student Terrence Williams resolved to work harder in all aspects of his life, in remembrance of Kobe and his mamba mentality; noting, “I don’t play super high-level basketball, but I can go harder in other aspects of life because that work and that grind is what Kobe is all about.” Vaughndre Henry, a fourth-year student was also especially touched by Kobe’s passing.
Kobe Bryant will forever be loved and missed by people all over the world. His legacy will be survived in many through his Mamba Mentality.
Photo Courtesy of Fred Kearney
Article by Shane Seaberry
The views expressed herein are attributed to their authors and not to this publication nor Babson College. The materials appearing in this publication are for information purposes only.