Since Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant’s tragic passing a couple of years ago, athletes across all sports have looked to him for inspiration.
Of course, Bryant was known as one of the most passionate and determined competitors the NBA had ever seen. His “Mamba Mentality” became a defining part of his approach to basketball and life.
Now, general manager Bob Myers of the 2022 NBA champion Golden State Warriors has come forward to criticize athletes who have utilized the “Mamba Mentality” term.
“When people use the Mamba Mentality, you guys don’t do that,” Myers said in a recent episode of the “All the Smoke” podcast. “You’re not him. Nobody should be allowed to say that. I’m sorry. There is nobody there like him.
“When people say that, it bothers me and I’m like, I don’t pretend like I do that, but I’m like, you don’t get to say that. That’s not a throwaway line. … I’m sorry, but that went with him. Come up with something else.”
Myers went on to say that while there are definitely players in the NBA who are competitive and want to beat their competitors, very few people desire to kill their opponent’s will like Bryant did.
“Not many guys want to take your will,” Myers added. “A lot of guys want to beat you. Not many guys want to take your will and make it, so you know never to try that again.
“‘Like, how dare you try to beat me? How dare you think you’re going to come out here and beat me?’ but nobody lives like, that’s what I’m saying. That is not normal.”
Bryant was a singular force in the world of sports, and his insatiable desire to be better inspired countless fans across the globe.
That desire played a huge role in him becoming one of the faces of the NBA and a five-time champion with the Lakers. During his 20-year career, he averaged 25.0 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game.
Though Myers may have an issue with players trying to channel the “Mamba Mentality,” it also should be noted that many players in the NBA are likely only doing what they believe is right to keep his memory alive. Bryant was a hero to an entire generation of basketball players, and many of those players are now stars in the league.
In the end, it seems that players even trying to channel that kind of focus and determination is great for the NBA, even if no one can really do it quite like Bryant did.