Top 10 Kobe Bryant Stories That Explains His Mamba Mentality

Top 10 Kobe Bryant Stories That Explains His Mamba Mentality

by Selcuk Saracoglu on Dec 24, 2022

1- Jay Williams Tells A Story That Explains Outworking Kobe Is Impossible

“I always tried to outwork people. That’s just how I made my mark. The game was at 7 (p.m.), I was like, ‘You know what, I’m going to come to the Staples Center, because we’re playing this when the Lakers had Kobe and Shaq — this is the championship Lakers. I’m going to get there at 3 and I’m going to make sure I make 400 made shots before I go back into the room, I sit in the sauna, I get ready for the game.”

“Who do I see? I see Kobe Bryant, already working out. Once I step my foot across that line, I started working out. I worked out for a good hour, hour and a half. When I came off, after I was done, I sat down and of course I still heard the ball bouncing. I was like, ‘This guy is still working out?’ He was working out, it looks like he was in a dead sweat when I got here, and he’s still going. It’s not like his moves are nonchalant or lazy — he’s doing game moves.”

“I sit there and I unlace my shoes. I’m like, ‘I want to see how long this goes.’ I sat out there and watched another 25 minutes, and he got done. I said, ‘Okay, I think I’ve seen enough’ Go play, come back, get in the sauna, get ready for the game. That game he drops 40 on us. After the game is over I’m like, ‘I have to ask this guy. I have to understand why he works like that.’ After the game I’m like, ‘Hey, Kobe, why were you in the gym for so long?’. He was like, ‘Cause I saw you come in, and I wanted you to know that it doesn’t matter how hard you work that I’m willing to work harder than you. You inspire me to be better.’ And it was the first time I started to see this level of competitiveness where I said, ‘I need to start doing more.’”


2- Kobe’s Teammates Tells A Crazy Story About How Kobe Set The Tone In The Game Againts Spain


 Pau Gasol: “Right before the game Kobe came to see me when they came to visit the Village. I remember that very clearly and vividly. My big brother came to see me with my teammates, which everyone was like ‘Whoa, Kobe is in our apartment. How Cool.’ And I believe that might have been part of his strategy to kind of soften me up.”

 LeBron James: “Kobe said, he gonna set the tone at the start of the game and he said, ‘I’m running through Pau’s f*cking chest.’“

 Dwyane Wade: “’First play of the game, I’m running through Pau Gasol.’ We was like, ‘What?’”

 LeBron James: “Man you’re trippin’ now. That’s your teammate. You ain’t ‘bout to do that.”

 Dwyane Wade: “He said ‘First play of the game. I know what they’re gonna run.’ He knew Pau was gonna be the last screen. He said, ‘I’m running through that motherf*cker.’”

 LeBron James: “I swear, the first play of the game. We was like, ‘Holy sh*t!’”

 Pau Gasol: “He just went right to the middle of my chest, tried to get right through me to send a message, not just to me, but to his teammates, saying, ‘Hey, this might be my brother. I play with him, we’re close. But I don’t care about anything else but winning.’”

 Carmelo Anthony: “He was like, ‘No, he ain’t my teammate right now. F*ck him. Get up.’ I’m like, ‘I love this energy. This is what we need, right?’”

 LeBron James: “Like, he did that to his teammate? Oh my God! We was like, ‘Oh, ain’t no way we’re losing this game. We about to beat the sh*t out of Spain.’”

-Netflix The Redeem Team Documentary

3- Iman Shumpert Talks About Kobe’s Crazy Game At The Garden

(Chris Chambers/Getty Images)

“I guarded Kobe in the Garden. I can’t remember how much he had, but I know I had multiple steals against him, to where in the game, in my head, all I’m thinking of is when I’m having this conversation with my brother after the game, how Imma tell him how I stole a ball from Kobe. How I stripped Kobe before he was going to take a shot, how I drove by Kobe and got a dunk. Like I’m thinking about all these things in my head, I’m so geeked.”

“… The fourth quarter starts, and Kobe said ‘You had a great game.’ He said ‘You had a great game young fella.’ I swear I looked at the clock like… I’m looking like ‘There’s 12 minutes [left], whatchu talkin’ about? What was that?’ You know what I’m sayin’? You ain’t said nothing the whole game. I’ve been talking sh*t, I done stole the ball, I’m hyped as hell, it’s Kobe Bryant. He ain’t said not one word to me. ‘Great game young fella.’ “

“The man come down, you remember, he came shot fake, shot fake, threw it off the glass, caught it, threw it to the corner. I’m like ‘Bro, whatchu on? Like, bro, you've been regular all game!”

“Shot, get to the spot, shot fake, spin pivot over here, spin back on the foot, drop it, off the glass. I’m like ‘Bro what’s goin’ on?’ Then he pulled up from like 35 feet on some Steph Curry sh*t, before Steph was doin’ that, he pulled up and laced it. I’m like… They called a timeout, D’Antoni looking at me. I’m like ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I don’t even…”

-Ebro in the Morning

4- Chris Bosh’s Story About Kobe’s Legendary Work Ethic While They Were Teammates In Redeem Team


“It was 2008, the Redeem Team was formed. We were in Vegas for the start of training camp and we’re getting ready for the Olympics in Beijing. I wanted to establish myself as a young leader on the team by waking up bright and early on day one. So the goal was to be the first one at breakfast. I set my alarm, I make sure I’m up by sunrise, I get out of bed, I put on my gear and I head downstairs… But when I get there, Kobe is already there with ice packs on his knees, drenched in sweat."

“It took me a minute to figure it out, but this guy was not only awake before me, he had already worked out. He had just played in the Finals days earlier, meanwhile I've been off for months and I was still exhausted. What he did that day was incomprehensible to me... That dedication he had only days after falling short of an NBA championship, that taught me something I have never forgotten: Legends aren’t defined by their successes, they are defined by how they bounce back from their failures.”

-The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Speech

5- Sue Bird On Kobe’s Insane Motivation

“My Kobe story is we were in the player lounge. There was a couple of us. We were playing spades and he kind of came in. We were drinking a little wine, playing some spades, just chilling and he came in, sat down, put himself a glass and he was kind of like reading a paper. So this is 2008, so they had just lost to the Celtics in the Finals like tragically, if my memory serves. And so he opens up the paper and there’s like this article about it. And there is a picture of Paul Pierce. So I see it, we kind of are and you know like it’s Kobe Bryant. Listen it’s 2008, we’re all sitting there. Kobe Bryant sits down and pours a glass of wine. We’re like, ‘What the f*ck?’ you know. And then we look over and he’s tearing out the picture of Paul Pierce. So he cuts it out and he folds it up. He puts in his pocket and like we’re all looking at him, you know like ‘What’s going on?’. He’s like, ‘Motivation.’ Then he proceed to like chug his wine pour another glass. Chug it, poured the third and he was basically like, he looks over. He’s like, ‘Now I’m ahead of you guys.’ We’re like ‘Okay, we didn’t know we were racing, cool.’ But like those two things back to back I was like, ‘Oh, that’s what’s like, that’s who he is, like that’s what this is. You know, it was funny.

-JJ Redick Old Man And The Three Podcast

6- Phil Handy On How He Realized Kobe Wasn’t Just An A**hole

“He was misunderstood, man. I asked him one time ‘Why are you such an a**hole?’ I asked him that. And he said ‘Do you really wanna know?’ You know how he was. And he said to me ‘You know Phil, man… Some of my teammates don’t understand the work. I see dudes walk into practice 10 minutes before the practice and they leave right after. Why the f*ck am I gonna pass them the basketball? I don’t respect their work ethic. I’m in here, bustin my a** everyday tryin’ to perfect my craft and these dudes don’t wanna work on their game. I don’t trust ‘em. So I’m not gonna pass them the basketball. Imma ride ‘em hard everyday.’”
“It made perfect sense when he broke it down why he is the way he is with certain dudes. I was just like ‘Man, I respect that bro.’ I respect that.”

-All the Smoke Podcast

7- Jeremy Lin Tells A Story That Shows How Savage Kobe Was

“At this time he had gotten hurt and he was out for the season, so he wasn’t around for quite some time. Rehabbing away from the team and stuff… And all of a sudden, after like, we haven’t seen him like few weeks, all of a sudden he walks in the gym, and this is a day before the trade deadline and we’re all about the start the practice. We’re all on the baseline we’re stretching, doing our dynamic worm-up or whatever and then he comes in sweatsuits. He has a sling around his hurt shoulder and he has his shades on, Kobe shades, and he walks in and everyone was like ‘Oohh!’ and Booz, Carlos Boozer, was like ‘Kob! Good to see you bro.’ like ‘Dang, we haven’t seen you in a bit. How come you came today?’ And he was just stone faced music ‘I just ah… I just came by to say bye to some of you bums who’re gonna get traded tomorrow’. And then he sat down at the table where you control the scoreboard at the practice facility and he said couple words to the coach and then he left and uh I remember one of my teammates was just like ‘I lost all motivation to practice.’”

-Danny Green x Inside the Green Room podcast

8- Gilbert Arenas Tells One Of The Best Kobe – Jordan Stories Ever

“This would’ve been probably Luke Walton who told me this story.”
-Right. So, according to you, when Jordan played Kobe, you know Jordan won. Then at the end of the game againts Kobe who was wearing Jordan 8s and uh you know he smacked him on the butt and said ‘You can wear the shoes, but you can never fill them.’ and then what happened next?
“So what happened next is I guess during that time Kobe didn’t say anything to anybody. So for like two weeks, they said, ‘Kobe was just mute.’ Like he didn’t talk to his players, didn’t talk to his teammates, just he was like in focus mode. It was straight like practice was just so intense. The players are like, ‘Yo, is he mad at us? Did we do something to him?’” and then Phil was like, ‘No, no, no, no. Jordan told him, when we played him', 'You could wear the shoes but can never fill them.’ ‘No sh*t! When do we play them again?’ And he was like ‘Yeah, we play 'em in a few days. So, I’m not even gonna stretch for that game because young fella is not passing us the ball. And that’s the game Kobe had like 55 on MJ.


9- Shaquille O’Neal On How Kobe Gained His Respect

“The day Kobe gained my respect was, the guys were complaining, they said, ‘Shaq, Kobe’s not passing the ball.’ I said, ‘I’ll talk to him.’. I said, ‘Kobe, there’s no ‘I’ in ‘team’.’”
“He said, ‘I know, but there’s an ‘M-E’ in that motherf*cker.’”
“So I went back and told Rick [Fox] and ‘Big Shot’ Rob [Horry], and I said, ‘Just get the rebound, he’s not passing it.’”

-Kobe Bryant farewell at Staples Center

10- Shaquille O’Neal Challenges Kobe For His Final Game


“I need 50 that night,” O’Neal said to Bryant about his upcoming final game. “Can you do it? Your last game, your last home game at the Staples, can you give us 50?”
“Uh, no,” Bryant said, laughing. “No. Absolutely not.”
“I challenged him to get 50 and the motherf*cker got 60.” Said Shaq after Kobe Bryant, dropped 60 points, 23 in the 4th, in a comeback victory against the Utah Jazz, in the FINAL game of his storybook career.

-Inside the NBA
-Rachel Nichols

Honourable Mention:
Tracy McGrady On How Kobe Fooled Him About Working Out

 Tracy McGrady: "I told him, I said, ‘I'm about to go work out.’ And he was like, 'What do you gotta go work out for? You know, offseason, you don't gotta work out.’ And I'm looking at him like, I was like, 'Uhm, okay'. So I go to my room, chill for a minute. I go to the weight room, who's in there? This dude (points at Kobe). I’m looking like ‘WHAT?’. So I had to start taking notes like, ‘This dude right here is always gonna have an edge on somebody.’”
 Kobe Bryant: “He had a hard time understanding what sarcasm was. I was just being sarcastic.”

-ESPN The Jump with Rachel Nichols


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Selcuk Saracoglu