NBA’s Basketball Legend Kobe Bryant left the world with his beloved 13-year-old daughter, Gianna Bryant, on 26 January 2020. He was 41 years old.
Kobe Bryant – The Inspiring Figure
Kobe Bryant, also known as the Black Mamba, was drafted to the NBA out of high school in 1996. He spent his entire 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, winning five NBA championships. Widely regarded as one of the greatest players, he was awarded NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) in 2008 and NBA Finals MVP in 2009 and 2010.
One of the most memorable games in NBA history was the game on January 22, 2006, when Kobe scored 81 points in a Lakers’ 122-104 win over Toronto. In his final game of his career in 2016, the Black Mamba did it his way, scoring 60 points on 50 shots in a Lakers win against the Utah Jazz at Staples Center, Los Angeles. Kobe completed his NBA career with 33,643 points.
Moreover, Kobe also won gold medals as a member of the U.S. men’s basketball team in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing and the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
The Ladies Cue is grateful to have learnt these 3 lessons from the NBA Legend:
1. Kobe Bryant was a Loving Father
“As parents, you got to lead by example. If you want your kids to do whatever it is to accomplish in life, you got to show them. That’s what I try to do.”
Remembering how his dad was always there for him, Kobe knew he had to do the same. He did not want to live a life of regrets saying “I wish I could have done more”.
For instance, he would fly back to his daughter’s birthday, and then fly back to play with the team. Such milestones are important to his daughter and to him. Even when he is extremely tired from basketball practice and his daughter wants him to bring her out, he will not decline his daughter’s request even if he is feeling muscle sore. To him, it is not fair for his daughter.
As ladies, we definitely can relate the kind of struggle he has to balance his career and family. However, he showed us that his level of commitment towards his family does not pale in comparison towards his dedication towards his basketball career.
2. The Mamba Mentality
So what is Mamba mentality?
It is the mentality of consistent hard work, the never-give-up attitude and having unwavering self-belief. Kobe pushed himself through boundaries and played through injuries and fevers. He does not allow his circumstances define him.
“I realized that intimidation didn’t really exist if you’re in the right frame of mind.” To live Kobe’s way is to live with a purposeful intensity, to fully commit, to fend off the self-doubt, fear and worries we all have.
“We all have self-doubt. You don’t deny it, but you also don’t capitulate to it. You embrace it.”
The Mamba mentality is about “obsession” when you prioritize whatever it takes for you to be extraordinary in your craft. “If you want to be great at something, there’s a choice you have to make. What I mean by that is, there are inherent sacrifices that come along with that. Family time, hanging out with friends, being a great friend, being a great son, nephew, whatever the case may be.”
Kobe was not a gifted player. He was maniacal about getting his fundamentals right. He will spend a lot of time to do his research on his opponents, finding weakness to exploit.
Even if we may not be sports players, this level of relentless and dedication is something we can learn from. There are times when we face obstacles or fear in our personal lives, but we should not let these negativity affect us as long as we have the Mamba mentality.
3. Kobe Bryant’s Support on Gender Equality Through Sports
Kobe was known to be an outspoken supporter of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA).
In an interview with CNN, Kobe shared his thoughts on the division between men and women in the world of the NBA.
He went on to name three WNBA stars who he believes could make the jump into the men’s league. “Diana Taurasi, Maya Moore, Elena Della Donne. There’s a lot of great players out there so they could certainly keep up with them,” he said. He could see a day where women could play in the same league that he spent 20 years in.
While it will take much efforts for this to become a possibility, the endorsement from the Basketball legendary figure like Kobe has provided much hope and moral support to the female basketball players. No doubt there is still tendency to undermine female athletes in this “male-dominated” sports, Kobe’s voice was invaluable to these female basketball players. He made sure that these players’ abilities were given their due recognition.
Moreover, he shows his support on equal opportunity for females through his actions. After his retirement from NBA, he continued as a coach to his daughter Gianna’s middle school basketball team. He also launched his own production studio to spread empowering stories about women and sports.
Thank You, Kobe Bryant
Rest in Peace, Kobe Bryant. Thank you Black Mamba for the life lessons and legacy you left the world with. Kobe Bryant reminds us that true greatness lies both in and out of the court. Success begins from what you tell yourself every single day. Actions speak louder than words – work hard in silence and let success makes its noise.
Deepest condolences to Vanessa Bryant and family members for their loss. We will miss you deeply.
Hug your loved ones tight tonight and never take a day for granted. Let’s cherish our loved ones!