The Mamba Mentality

Kobe Bryant

The Mamba Mentality



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Kobe Bryant was one of the greatest basketball players of all time. The Mamba Mentality is an insight into his way of understanding sport, encompassing his humility, dedication, hard work, intelligence and sacrifice. “Black Mamba” - Kobe’s nickname - talks openly about the challenges he set himself and his teammates, about the behind-the-scenes preparation for games, about the relationship with his coaches, his obsessive study of his opponents, and his drive to get back up even stronger each time he was knocked down, and reveals the reasons why, for him,  losing was never an option. 

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Analysis and key concepts


To become great in any field it takes determination, hard work and an excellence mindset


Observe the details and imagine the alternatives to predict your opponents’ actions


Failing is an essential step on the way to excellence


To achieve extraordinary results mental preparation is just as important as physical


The importance of exchanging with others: learning from mentors and coaches and encouraging his teammates to give their best


The approach to greatness holds fast even when the mountains to climb are enormous




Take-home message

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Many useful tips to:

  • Discover the mentality that enabled Kobe Bryant to become a basketball legend.
  • Appreciate his approach as determined, rigorous and always focussed on the detail.
  • Understand the importance of daily hard work to achieve greatness.
  • Acquire a mindset of excellence in any field.

Kobe Bryant, born in Philadelphia in 1978, was one of the most accomplished and celebrated athletes of all time. The son of former NBA player, Joe Bryant, he spent his 20-year career as a professional basketball player in the NBA playing for the same team, the Los Angeles Lakers. At 18, he was the youngest player ever to join the league, and was the first guard in NBA history to play at least 20 seasons. During the course of his career – among many other accolades – he was five times NBA champion, he won two Olympic gold medals, he was selected for the All Star Team eighteen times and won four All Star Game MVP awards. The letter in which he announced his retirement from basketball in 2015 was converted into an animated short in 2017 called “Dear Basketball”, which won the Oscar for best animated short film in 2018. Bryant was the first ever sportsman to win that award. Kobe Bryant died on 26th January, 2020 in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California

Publishing house:

Farrar, Straus and Giroux