Throughout his entire career, Kobe Bryant was known for being one of the most skilled and hard-working players the NBA had ever seen.
However, a huge part of his legacy grew because of his way of looking at life. The way he embraced working harder than everybody else: the Mamba Mentality.
There are countless stories about Kobe outworking everybody he ever shared a gym with. Some of them may seem like an old man’s tale or a myth, but others happen to be true.
That’s why no one was surprised when former NBA player Corey Maggette – one of Kobe’s closest friends – revealed that Kobe Bryant and Rob Pelinka once called him from the middle of the ocean to invite him to swim with great white sharks to prepare for the NBA season:
“As far as with Kobe, you just knew that he was different. He was different. I remember the call that I got from Rob [Pelinka] and Kobe. Rob called me and said, ‘Man, you wouldn’t believe where I am right now.’ I said, ‘Where?’ He said, ‘Man, we’re in the middle of the ocean and Kobe is trying to prepare himself for the rigors of the season. He’s swimming with great white sharks.’ I’m like, ‘What?!’ He said, ‘He’s literally swimming with great white sharks”, Magette revealed.
“I’ll never forget that. He sent me a video of him literally swimming with great white sharks. And Kobe was like, ‘Hey, if you want to get some of this Mamba, you need to come swim with the sharks.’ I’m like, ‘Kob, I’m not coming to swim with no damn sharks, man. You’re on your own with that one.’ It was just a different approach,” Maggette told Jovan Buha of The Athletic.
Perhaps Kobe took things a bit too far when trying to prove his point. However, it’s hard to question the methods of someone that succeeded so much and accomplished that much in life.
He was a different breed, indeed, and we’ll never see someone as determined and competitive as him. Rest easy, Black Mamba.