The Influence of Mamba Mentality

By: Jessica Klockman

One of the greatest basketball players in history, Kobe Bryant, passed away this Sunday leaving many in shock and disbelief. Even after retiring from the game in early 2016, Bryant never wavered in his ability to inspire others. One thing we didn’t expect him to leave behind so soon was the immense impact and legacy he brought not only to his fans and the city of Los Angeles but the entire country. Bryant was one of the most monumental people these past two decades have seen, leaving everyone mourning his life this last Sunday. We are remembering Bryant not just as an athlete but as a creator, influencer, father, and legend.

Bryant had an obsession with being great and overcoming anything and everything he put his mind to. Simply put, the man thrived off of the success and empowering others. Bryant constantly reminded us of the importance of trying our best and staying focused on becoming a better version of ourself. Bryant once said, “I encourage you to always be curious, always seek out things you love, and always work hard once you find it.” This relentless determination for success, better known as “Mamba Mentality”, was Bryant’s key to fulfillment and happiness. Bryant showed us that we truly can accomplish anything we put our minds to if we focus on being the best we can be. Though Bryant may be gone, his Mamba Mentality reigns on through his seemingly limitless reach. Bryant’s legacy isn’t confined to the painted lines on the hardwood, his spirit and drive overflows into the hearts of so many, and will continue to guide others through the toughest of obstacles for generations to come.

By having social media be as present as it is in today’s society, it has allowed us to embrace and learn from everything that Bryant has accomplished and strived to be in his 41 years of living. We are reminded that he wasn’t just a tremendous athlete but an incredible father to his four daughters and everything he dedicated to the sport of basketball, he dedicated just as much if not more to his family. He was an icon in the truest form.


The power of social media is allowing us to carry on his legacy and spread the brilliant words he shared in his lifetime. Bryant was the ultimate influencer and could affect millions of other people without ever knowing them which further proves how much of an impact he had on this world. Bryant was one of the first athletes to achieve world recognition which was aided primarily by his social presence and the development of the NBA’s international brand over social media. In the 48 hours following his death, Bryant had a monopoly over Twitter’s trending searches. Users from around the world poured their stories and emotions onto social platforms. This unimaginable outcry of love was an incomprehensible display of Bryant’s social reach and influence.

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This Article Has 11 Comments
  1. Abigail Portwood says:

    Great post! Kobe was an inspiration to many people including those who do not follow sports. Everyone knows who Kobe Bryant is. Aside from an amazing sports career, his mentality is an entire separate entity. It didn’t matter if he was scoring 81 points, coaching his daughter or being a husband, his mentality was always the same. He strived to be the greatest and it’s apparent that he meant that in more ways than just in basketball. You did a great job showcasing the impact that the death of Kobe Bryant had on the community and the world, and how through social media, many people have shown support to his legacy, his family, the LA Lakers and the Los Angeles community as a whole. The spread of information and support in this case was a hugely positive thing, because people around the world could find comfort in each other during this tragic time. Kobe has united the world yet again, and people are finding many ways to honor him posthumously whether it’s with an instagram post, wearing his jersey or NBA teams retiring Kobe’s numbers.

  2. Penny Barnes says:

    This is a great post! I love how you touched on Kobe as a person and not just an athlete. It’s interesting to think that so many people were affected by his death regardless of if they were a fan of basketball or not. Kobe was someone who people looked up to, and you can tell by the trends on social media how many people were truly affected. The power of social media in a situation like this is truly astonishing. I was sitting in a coffee shop when I heard the news, and within minutes I heard people around me looking at their phones saying, “Kobe is dead.” There are now so many hashtags trending, and ideas spreading about changing the NBA logo. But, with that being said, the power of social media could also deliver fake news. I remember seeing articles saying he was on board with the wrong daughter, the incorrect amount of people, and that false news spread fast. But, it is powerful to know that social media can bring us all together to grieve over the loss of not only a great athlete, but a legend.

  3. Ofuma Eze-Echesi says:

    Very well said Jessica. Kobe is the epitome of inspiration. His remarkable career as an athlete, and role as a father and husband, inspired people around the world, to be better versions of themselves. Kobe’s passing was undoubtedly a shock to the entire world and based on several posts on social media, it has helped people to appreciate the value of life and continues to push them to chase their dreams and work hard (like Kobe always advised in interviews). Both in life and death, he continues to be an inspiration. The Mamba Mentality lives on.

  4. Jamie Dunn says:

    Hearing the tragic news of Kobe Bryant was something I will never forget. A lot of people talk about how they will always remember leaning the news of 9/11. They can recall exactly where they were, what they were doing, and who they were with and that’s how I feel about this. I can still remember every detail of Sunday because the news was so shocking. Kobe was paving the way for women in sports and I hope his legacy and work will live on. I am from Los Angeles and seeing how the city came together to remember one of the greatest athletes to every represent Los Angeles was beautiful. The way social media exploded after the story broke was the just a glimpse of the power social media has to spread news like wildfire. I went on Twitter immediately after I found out and just searched “Kobe Bryant” and there it was, countless articles and posts on the news. Every time I refreshed the feed there were about 20 more tweets. The passing of Kobe is something that affected the lives of many, I only hope people will carry on his legacy and Mamba Mentality.

  5. Chad Orras says:

    This was great to read, Jessica. I definitely agree that his reach with having the “Mamba Mentality” transcends not only sports but country barriers. You can see it in the outpouring of appreciation from individuals from all walks of life. It is also interesting to see how many high powered athletes outside of basketball were inspired by his mentality and focus on his craft. Through social media and his connections to athletes, it was clear that the “Mamba Mentality” will live on. The reach truly wasn’t apparent until how many individuals across the world were able to share their memories and condolences. It will be interesting to watch how this mentality grows from here and the reach it has on the younger generation.

  6. Brandon Yee says:

    Hi Jessica,

    This was a touching post that hit home on multiple levels for me. Kobe Bryant was not only the ultimate competitor, he was an influencer and role model for people across the world. Kobe was truly transcendent, not only in his talents playing basketball, but in his ability to inspire and motivate people of all ages. In my lifetime, I can not think of a more impactful or tragic death than what has occurred last week. His legacy is truly bigger than basketball and his reach is incomprehensible. Growing up, Kobe was my inspiration. As an adult starting a family, he continued to be my inspiration. I will forever be grateful to him for his contributions to this world, despite any faults he may have had. Thank you for highlighting his iconic figure and the power his influence continues to have.

  7. Klaire Olson says:

    This is a great post! I loved that you highlighted aspects of Kobes life beyond basketball. What made him so special in addition to his amazing basketball skills was he was an influential person and father. Kobe was a household name that millions of people felt like they grew up with, regardless if they were big basketball fans or not. Kobes ability to reach all corners of the world is what made him so monumental. His social media presence also made him larger than life with #mambamentality that inspired kids and adults to work hard for what they want. This was one of the most tragic deaths of our generation and it is great to see his inspiration highlighted and will continue to be highlighted for years to come after his death.

  8. Klaire Olson says:

    This is a great post! I loved that you highlighted aspects of Kobes life beyond basketball. What made him so special in addition to his amazing basketball skills as he was an influential person and father. Kobe was a household name that millions of people felt like they grew up with, regardless if they were big basketball fans or not. Kobes ability to reach all corners of the world is what made him so monumental. His social media presence also made him larger than life with #mambamentality that inspired kids and adults to work hard for what they want. I really agree with you saying that this movement transcends sports and will continue to for years to come. This was one of the most tragic deaths of our generation and it is great to see his inspiration highlighted and will continue to be highlighted for years to come after his death.

  9. Miranda Menard says:

    So touching!! I agree, Kobe had a great influence on and off the court. His inspiration radiates and continues to inspire people in basketball, fatherhood, philanthropy and beyond. Social media provided the world an outlet to express their sadness and love for him, and share that with his family. It also allowed for his family to see and feel the love that the world has for him even though they may not have known him personally. In this case, social media has connected the world for love!

  10. Jacob Swinn says:

    Not only was Kobe inspirational and influential to people across the globe, but his death also highlights the way in which sports/athletics are able to connect and bring together people regardless of culture, location, etc.. As a Sports Business student, Kobe’s death confirmed my “why”; it is powerful to see the way in which the global population comes together to mourn the loss of such an inspirational and motivational athlete. Sport connects, sport drives, and sport heals, and Kobe was the ultimate connector and motivator in sport for many of us in our lifetimes.

  11. Kyra Lindsay says:

    This was a huge upset for me and my community. Being from Los Angeles, I have felt this news especially hard. Seeing these images is very moving. Not only showing the community coming together but showing that the legacy is not over is very overwhelming. Thank you for doing Kobe proud.

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