When Kobe died, is fans found a way to speak highly of the “focusing on the process and trusting in the hard work when it matters most” mindset, as Kobe puts it.
This “hard work outweighs talent every time” mentality that is “aimed to kill the opposition” [again, quotations are from Kobe] is overshadowing his undeniable, equally strong mindset directed towards his family and children.
By wearing this mamba mentality, Bryant accomplished multiple things: giving the audience and fans their money’s worth with games to enjoy and championships to celebrate; giving his employers’ the continued dedication and loyalty of their fans base; and giving the sports media great stories to present; while building his personal brand at the same time.
He never let his basketball-loving fans down. This was already proven time and time again.
Truth to be told, the ultimate beneficiaries of his Mama Mentality are the fans. True, while he gets to have more endorsements and income opportunities and his team owners gets more cash in their pockets when he gets better on the hardcourt, it’s the fans who get to dictate their success.
And because they are they responded by packing The Forum and Staples Center where he played, all objectives had been attained.
Just by simply looking at number of Filipinos who gave him their own version of tributes while invoking his Mamba Mentality will give one an idea how his work and etiquette impacted their lives, basketball-wise or in some other form.
It’s just amazing to witness his fans demonstrate how he influenced at least a part of how they conduct their lives.
For myself, being basically limited to admiring the greatness of just members of Celtics Nation growing up, it is a refreshing experience now to be able to compare and contrast sports greatness of different personalities, minimizing or totally eliminating whatever bias I still have hopefully, like how the greatness of men who bleed green to that of those who wear the then hated purple and gold.
In Kobe’s case, let’s just say he is a different breed when compared to some of the Celtics greats in the basketball arena.
Like I said in the previous part of this series, I try to avoid dwelling on the personal life of an athlete whenever I can because I basically don’t have enough information about it. However, this topic forces me to.
I think his mamba mentality as a basketball player has greatly overshadowed his mamba mentality as a head of a family.
He was very forthcoming and clear that his traveling by helicopter was triggered by his desire to find time for his family in a busy schedule that was required by the nature of his profession.
Keeping the accident side of air versus land travel aside, helicopter transport is also, without doubt, more costly than when compared to the most expensive means to travel by land.
Notwithstanding his earning capacity which probably makes the cost just an iceberg of his total income, for Bryant to consider family ties, find ways to fulfill his father duties to an extreme level, and give up such amount of resources [highlight to the time spent] for the sake of family time is such a commendable trait that should be revered in a similar level as his being a mamba on the basketball court.
Personally, I admire more his finding time to perform his husband/father duties amongst his schedule than his amount of preparation and training regime as a basketball player.
I suspect a number of athletes who make sports as a way of living often find difficulty in juggling and balancing these obligated tasks, especially on the scheduling part, in the middle of a promising and lucrative career.
Based on the numerous reports on how he treated time for his wife and children, especially during the later part of his career, I had little doubts Kobe is also a “Black Mamba” as a family man.
Gambles in life
Christians are thought to become loving and caring for other people and that there are more important things than those that we literally see and comprehend.
In my opinion, Kobe was one of the greats when it comes to caring for his fans and family.
I am inclined to include practice of faith in this one. Again, considering his stature as one of the more famous athletes of all-time, he was described to be a regular church-goer who usually sits at the back in order not to distract other attendees.
I am one who will never going to question The Man Upstairs because in my personal life experiences. He’s proved to me He always knows best for those who let Him become the driver of their lives.
It’s just that I got mixed emotions in Kobe’s death in this aspect because it seemed his love for family and the fans was probably the trigger which forced him to fly on that foggy, turbulent day which ended his, along with eight others’, journey on this earth.
Flying through zero-visibility to coach a game where his daughter is playing was a gamble Kobe took.
For people who consider the afterlife like me, I can’t help but wonder if The Man Upstairs will award him a win or loss in this bet.
By: Armando M. Bolislis