Parker Owens, Staff Writer
The world lost a legend on Sunday when Kobe Bryant was killed in a horrific helicopter crash that took the lives of eight others, including Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter Gianna. As Bryant is being remembered for all of his success as a player, winning five championships and being selected to the All-Star Game 18 times, Morehouse’s basketball team remembers Kobe holistically and how his patented “Black Mamba Mentality” helped make Bryant a resounding success both on and off the court. This approach is something that head coach Grady Brewer hopes to instill into his players as they look to embrace their inner mamba.
Mamba Mentality has become a trademark of Kobe’s life and legacy as he is widely considered the hardest-working player in NBA history. Part of this memory includes Larry Lewis ’92, who worked out with Kobe during his last NBA season. Lewis has spoken to the team about what it means to be like Kobe, what the meaning of the Black Mamba Mentality really is, and its transcendence outside of basketball.
“I am going to talk to them about implementing that Black Mamba Mentality into their life and their basketball,” said Brewer, who has been the coach at Morehouse for 20 years. “If I don’t do what I am supposed to do and I’m not prepared, the Black Mamba will bite me and I will die.”
The Mamba Mentality was created by Kobe in 2004 as his unrelenting passion for success propelled him to new heights both on and off the court. He would win two more championships with the Lakers after he adopted that approach to life. On the court, he was as dominant as ever and gave us moments to remember him by.
“The 81-point game,” senior point guard Michael Olmert said about his favorite Bryant memory. “Being down for most of the game and willing his team back in it.”
It is that will to win at literally every juncture of life that Bryant will be remembered for more than anything. He needed to be the best because being second was never an option, and Bryant knew more than anyone that to be the best you need to put in the work. The stories of his work ethic are synonymous with his name, as his ability to win seem to be his most everlasting legacy.
“He is the reason I started to take basketball seriously at a young age,” senior Tremell Gooden said. “Makes you want to be the best in everything you do, and it makes you want to perfect your craft.”
Bryant also became the first NBA player to win an Oscar. His intelligence and success are hard to ignore, and they are a big part of why his legacy was so special.
“Just being well-rounded just always open to learning new things,” senior guard Rob Andrews said about Bryant’s impact off the court. “You can’t just be one dimensional.”
Of all the things that can be said about Kobe one dimensional was certainly not one of them, and the man who looked like Superman on the court was just beginning to grow his legacy off the court as well.
As Morehouse’s season continues and as all the players continue to grow as players and men alike, the legacy of Kobe will stick with them and impact how they choose to approach every obstacle in their way.