A lot has been written about “Mamba Mentality” since the tragedy. Kobe’s catchphrase that encapsulated his approach to basketball. Continually striving for improvement, doing everything you can to learn and evolve. Many athletes tried to live tike that and failed – not everyone is cut from that cloth.
Gilbert Arenas was very close to Kobe and posted a vow on social media after Kobe’s death that he will stop messing around and commit to giving back to the game. For all his shenanigans, there is a lot Agent Zero can give. One of the things is an insight into “Mamba Mentality.”
“See, everyone thinks “Mamba Mentality” is ‘I had the greatest performance, yeah! #mambamentality‘ What?”Gilbert Arenas
Gilbert proceeded to talk about a video of a young kid playing in a high school league, getting up to 81 points. He had free throws to go over 81 and intentionally missed it to honor Kobe and “Mamba Mentality.” Arenas said he got it all wrong – he should’ve gone for 82.
“Mamba mentality is: this is not a ZOO, we’re in the wild.”Gilbert Arenas
Arenas mentioned something that’s become a bit of a taboo – playing till the last second and using every opportunity to improve. If they are playing defense on you, then you have to try and get a bucket even if it’s the 4th quarter, and the game is in the bag. A lot of players these days think that’s disrespectful. Arenas is confident Kobe would disagree.
Not everyone is a “mamba,” and you can’t fake being it. The point is you have to find your own identity and use every chance to learn and improve. That’s why Kobe lost at the “soft like charmin'” practice. He knew that the team wasn’t going to win a title, and that was OK. But not doing your best just because you don’t have a chance to win a title – that was a cardinal sin.