The Mamba Mentality by Kobe Bryant
Length: 208 pages
First Published: 2018
The Mamba Mentality: How I Play is Kobe Bryant’s personal perspective of his life and career on the basketball court and his exceptional, insightful style of playing the game―a fitting legacy from the late Los Angeles Laker superstar.
In the wake of his retirement from professional basketball, Kobe “The Black Mamba” Bryant decided to share his vast knowledge and understanding of the game to take readers on an unprecedented journey to the core of the legendary “Mamba mentality.” Citing an obligation and an opportunity to teach young players, hardcore fans, and devoted students of the game how to play it “the right way,” The Mamba Mentality takes us inside the mind of one of the most intelligent, analytical, and creative basketball players ever.
In his own words, Bryant reveals his famously detailed approach and the steps he took to prepare mentally and physically to not just succeed at the game, but to excel. Readers will learn how Bryant studied an opponent, how he channeled his passion for the game, how he played through injuries. They’ll also get fascinating granular detail as he breaks down specific plays and match-ups from throughout his career.
Bryant’s detailed accounts are paired with stunning photographs by the Hall of Fame photographer Andrew D. Bernstein. Bernstein, long the Lakers and NBA official photographer, captured Bryant’s very first NBA photo in 1996 and his last in 2016―and hundreds of thousands in between, the record of a unique, twenty-year relationship between one athlete and one photographer.
The combination of Bryant’s narrative and Bernstein’s photos make The Mamba Mentality an unprecedented look behind the curtain at the career of one of the world’s most celebrated and fascinating athletes.
Quotes from The Mamba Mentality
A lot of people say they want to be great, but they’re not willing to make the sacrifices necessary to achieve greatness. They have other concerns, whether important or not, and they spread themselves out. That’s totally fine. After all, greatness is not for everybody.
If you really want to be great at something you have to truly care about it. If you want to be great in a particular area, you have to obsess over it.
The message was that if you want to win championships, you have to let people focus on what they do best while you focus on what you do best.
If you want to be a better player, you have to prepare, prepare, and prepare some more.
The mindset isn’t about seeking a result—it’s more about the process of getting to that result. It’s about the journey and the approach. It’s a way of life. I do think that it’s important, in all endeavors, to have that mentality.
About Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant was an acclaimed professional basketball player, winning five MBA championships, two Olympic gold medals, and four All-Star Game MVP awards in his twenty-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers. He won the Academy Award for best Animated Short Film as the writer of Dear Basketball, which he also narrated. Bryant was also the author of The Mamba Mentality. Bryant and his daughter Gianna were killed in 2020 in a helicopter crash.