Three years ago, we lost one of America’s most beloved basketball players, Kobe Bryant. His untimely passing shocked the world at the top of a very strange year in 2020. Even if you weren’t the biggest Laker fan or a fan of the sport, the news of his death affected everyone, because his legacy was remarkably impactful. Today, we honor and celebrate the legendary athlete on his birthday (Aug. 23).
One principle that is forever engrained in the hearts of fans and family of the late, great Kobe Bryant is his legendary “Mamba Mentality.” Mamba Mentality is about obsession. It means prioritizing your professional goals over having an average, balanced life. During Kobe’s 2016 Mamba Mentality Tour, which aimed to challenge and inspire the next generation of young athletes, he explained what the phrase meant to him, “To sum up what mamba mentality is, it means to be able to constantly try to be the best version of yourself. That is what the mentality is. It’s a constant quest to try to be better today than you were yesterday.” Everyone should adopt a Mamba Mentality and today, we remain inspired by these Kobe Bryant quotes.
These quotes explore themes of hard work, resilience, leadership, failure and success. Post them up on your wall or mirror so that you continue to live a prosperous, healthy and victorious life the way Mamba would.
1. “Dedication sees dreams come true.”
2. “I can’t relate to lazy people. We don’t speak the same language. I don’t understand you. I don’t want to understand you.”
3. “Everything negative — pressure, challenges — is all an opportunity for me to rise.”
4. “The moment you give up is the moment you let someone else win”
6. “I’ve played with IVs before, during and after games. I’ve played with a broken hand, a sprained ankle, a torn shoulder, a fractured tooth, a severed lip, and a knee the size of a softball. I don’t miss 15 games because of a toe injury that everybody knows wasn’t that serious in the first place.”
7. “Once you know what failure feels like, determination chases success.”
8. “I have self-doubt. I have insecurity. I have fear of failure. I have nights when I show up at the arena and I’m like, ‘My back hurts, my feet hurt, my knees hurt. I don’t have it. I just want to chill.’ We all have self-doubt. You don’t deny it, but you also don’t capitulate to it. You embrace it.”
9. “When we are saying this cannot be accomplished, this cannot be done, then we are short-changing ourselves. My brain, it cannot process failure. It will not process failure. Because if I have to sit there and face myself and tell myself, ‘You are a failure,’ I think that is almost worse than dying.”
10. “The last time I was intimidated was when I was 6 years old in karate class. I was an orange belt and the instructor ordered me to fight a black belt who was a couple years older and a lot bigger. I was scared s–less. I mean, I was terrified and he kicked my ass. But then I realized he didn’t kick my ass as bad as I thought he was going to and that there was nothing really to be afraid of. That was around the time I realized that intimidation didn’t really exist if you’re in the right frame of mind.”
11. “I have nothing in common with lazy people who blame others for their lack of success. Great things come from hard work and perseverance. No excuses.”
12. “The important thing is that your teammates have to know you’re pulling for them and you really want them to be successful.”
13. “I’m here. I’m not going anywhere. No matter what the injury — unless it’s completely debilitating — I’m going to be the same player I’ve always been. I’ll figure it out. I’ll make some tweaks, some changes, but I’m still coming.”
14. “When you make a choice and say, ‘Come hell or high water, I am going to be this,’ then you should not be surprised when you are that. It should not be something that is intoxicating or out of character because you have seen this moment for so long that … when that moment comes, of course it is here because it has been here the whole time, because it has been [in your mind] the whole time.”
15. “I realized that intimidation didn’t really exist if you’re in the right frame of mind.”
16. “I’m reflective only in the sense that I learn to move forward. I reflect with a purpose.”
17. “I’m extremely willful to win, and I respond to challenges. It’s not a challenge to me to win the scoring title, because I know I can.”
18. “A lot of leaders fail because they don’t have the bravery to touch that nerve or strike that chord.”
19. “Pain doesn’t tell you when you ought to stop. Pain is the little voice in your head that tries to hold you back because it knows if you continue you will change.”
20. “If you’re afraid to fail, then you’re probably going to fail.”
21. “Use your success, wealth and influence to put them in the best position to realize their own dreams and find their true purpose.
22. “I create my own path. It was straight and narrow. I looked at it this way: you were either in my way, or out of it.”
23. “Haters are a good problem to have. Nobody hates the good ones. They hate the great ones.”
24. “It’s the one thing you can control. You are responsible for how people remember you—or don’t. So don’t take it lightly.”
Safe to say, everyone remembers Kobe Bryant as a loving father and husband, dedicated player and teammate and a kind human being off the court. Kobe will always be remembered for his tenacity to make himself and the people around him the greatest of all time. We miss you, Kobe!
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