Kobe Bryant's Life and Legacy: 24 Mamba Mentality Quotes to Live By
"I create my own path. It was straight and narrow. I looked at it this way: you were either in my way, or out of it. If you were standing between me and the game, I was going to knock you on your back and not feel bad about it. I was unapologetically me. That's all I ever wanted to be. I was never worried about my reputation - that's how I earned one. That's how I became the Black Mamba."
"You don't want to jump into something if you're not passionate about it." (Bryant to CNBC in August 2016)
"Life is too short to get bogged down and be discouraged. You have to keep moving. You have to keep going. Put one foot in front of the other, smiles and just keep on rolling." (Bryant told CBS in June 2008)
"When you make a choice and say, 'Come hell or high water, I am going to be this,' then you should not be surprised when you are that. It should not be something that is intoxicating or out of character because you have seen this moment for so long that ... when that moment comes, of course it is here because it has been here the whole time, because it has been [in your mind] the whole time." (Bryant in his February 2015 interview for Showtime's Muse)
"Those times when you get up early and you work hard, those times when you stay up late and you work hard, those times when you don't feel like working, you're too tired, you don't want to push yourself, but you do it anyway. That is actually the dream. That's the dream. It's not the destination, it's the journey. And if you guys can understand that, then what you'll see happen is you won't accomplish your dreams, your dreams won't come true; something greater will." (Bryant in his 2017 jersey retirement speech)
"We psyche ourselves up too much. Like if you try to talk yourself into, 'Oh, this is a big moment, this is a big shot,' you're putting a lot of pressure on yourself. You shot that shot hundreds and thousands of times. Just shoot another one." (Bryant during a 2018 Jimmy Kimmel Live appearance)
"I've practiced and practiced and played so many times. There's nothing truly to be afraid of, when you think about it. ... I've failed before, and I woke up the next morning, and I'm OK." (Bryant to ESPN in November 2014)
"I want to learn how to become the best basketball player in the world. And if I'm going to learn that, I gotta learn from the best. Kids go to school to be doctors or lawyers, so forth and so on and that's where they study. My place to study is from the best." (Bryant in his February 2015 interview for Showtime's Muse)
"Be sad. Be mad. Be frustrated. Scream. Cry. Sulk. When you wake up you will think it was just a nightmare only to realize it’s all too real. You will be angry and wish for the day back, the game back, THAT play back. But reality gives nothing back and nor should you." (Bryant on Instagram in September 2017)
"There's a choice that we have to make as people, as individuals. If you want to be great at something there is a choice you have to make. We can all be masters at our craft, but you have to make a choice. What I mean by that is, there are inherent sacrifices that come along with that — family time, hanging out with your friends, being a great friend. being a great son, nephew, whatever the case may be. There are sacrifices that come along with that." (Bryant in his February 2015 interview for Showtime's Muse)
"I never looked at [basketball] as work. I didn't realize it was work until my first year in the NBA. When I came around, I was surrounded by other professionals and I thought basketball was going to be everything to them and it wasn't. And I was like, 'This is different.' I thought everybody was so obsessive about the game like me. It was like, no? Oh, that's hard work. I get it now." (Bryant to ESPN in November 2014)
"Winning takes precedence over all. There's no gray area. No almosts."
"I see the beauty in not being able to blow past defenders anymore, you know what I mean? I see the beauty in getting up in the morning and being in pain because I know all the hard work that it took to get to this point." (Bryant said of retirement in November 2015)
"Leadership is lonely... I'm not going to be afraid of confrontation to get us to where we need to go. There's a big misconception where people thinking winning or success comes from everybody putting their arms around each other and singing kumbaya and patting them on the back when they mess up, and that's just not reality. If you are going to be a leader, you are not going to please everybody. You have to hold people accountable. Even if you have that moment of being uncomfortable." (Bryant to NBA TV in February 2015)
"The most important thing is to try and inspire people so that they can be great at whatever they want to do."
"The last time I was intimidated was when I was 6 years old in karate class. I was an orange belt and the instructor ordered me to fight a black belt who was a couple years older and a lot bigger. I was scared s---less. I mean, I was terrified and he kicked my ass. But then I realized he didn't kick my ass as bad as I thought he was going to and that there was nothing really to be afraid of. That was around the time I realized that intimidation didn't really exist if you're in the right frame of mind." (Bryant to ESPN in January 2013)
"You are responsible for how people remember you - or don't. So don't take it lightly. If you do it right, your game will live on in others. You'll be imitated and emulated by those you played with, those you played against and those who never saw you play at all. So leave everything on the court. Leave the game better than you found it. And when it comes time for you to leave, leave a legend."
"Learn to love the hate. Embrace it. Enjoy it. You earned it. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and everyone should have one about you. Haters are a good problem to have. Nobody hates the good ones. They hate the great ones."
"I can't relate to lazy people. We don't speak the same language. I don't understand you. I don't want to understand you." (Bryant to 247sports.com
"Once you know what failure feels like, determination chases success."
"Pain doesn't tell you when you ought to stop. Pain is the little voice in your head that tries to hold you back because it knows if you continue you will change. Don't let it stop you from being who you can be. Exhaustion tells you when you ought to stop. You only reach your limit when you can go no further."
"I'm going to do what I always do: I'm going to break it down to its smallest form, smallest detail, and go after it. Day by day, one day at a time."
"If you're afraid to fail, then you're probably going to fail."
"When we are saying this cannot be accomplished, this cannot be done, then we are short-changing ourselves. My brain, it cannot process failure. It will not process failure. Because if I have to sit there and face myself and tell myself 'you are a failure,' I think that is almost worse than dying."