On January 26, 2020, America lost one of its elite athletes. Known for his on-court skills and the famous “Mamba Mentality,” Kobe Bryant tragically died in a helicopter crash.

Adding to this tragedy, Gianna “GiGi” Bryant also perished. Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter, was an up-and-coming ball player herself.

In total, nine people perished in the crash and blaze that followed. CNN released the names of some of the additional victims:

  • Christina Mauser, a girls’ basketball coach from Orange County, CA
  • John Altobelli, a “basketball dad.”
  • Keri Altobelli, “basketball mom.”
  • Alyssa Altobelli, GiGi’s teammate
  • Helicopter pilot, name unreleased at this time

(Note: we will add names to this post as we receive verified information from reliable sources; we will not operate on speculation or hearsay).

About Kobe Bryant

NBA player Joe “Jellybean” Bryant and his wife Pamela Cox Bryant welcomed their son Kobe into the world on August 23, 1978.

Under his father’s guidance, Kobe began learning to play basketball around the age of three. Throughout his childhood, he developed both motor skills and intense knowledge of strategy and continued to grow into his destiny.

And, even after Jellybean’s retirement from the NBA and a move to Italy to play European league ball, Kobe continued to watch basketball videos. His grandfather regularly mailed videos of the best games to Kobe in Italy to analyze.

He learned from watching the greats. In fact, Kobe revealed to ESPN in a 2010 interview:

“I seriously have stolen all my moves from the greatest players.” ~Kobe Bryant

Bryant returned stateside for high school, attending Lower Merion High School, located in Ardmore, Pennsylvania. The Philadelphia suburb proved a competitive training ground. More importantly, it helped young Kobe to hone his on-court skills further.

In 1996, several universities attempted to recruit Bryant to their programs. However, rather than choosing a top-notch school like Duke University, University of Kansas, or UNC, Bryant had another plan. Instead of impressing college, he decided to showcase his talents to the NBA teams. He worked out with his favorite team, the Los Angeles Lakers in 1996.

Did he impress the big league?

Must have. Bryant, at just 17, entered the NBA draft that same year. The Charlotte Hornets signed the young shooting guard to a deal as the number 13 pick in the first round.  In a move that must have made them smack a face-palm later, they immediately traded him to the Lakers in exchange for center Vlade Divac.

The rest, as they say, is history. During his career with the Lakers, Bryant earned many distinctions:

  • 5 NBA championship titles (Lakers)
  • 18 All-star game appearances
  • One-time season MVP

So, what can we take away from one of the greatest NBA players in history? These life lessons from Kobe Bryant remind us that mindset, hard work, and perseverance point us towards success. Take a look.

The Mamba Mentality

As mentioned, this man was a student of his sport. In fact, he developed such a sharp understanding of the game that he made split on-court decisions that won games. Sports fans and commentators dubbed this the Mamba Mentality, referring to the deadly snake whose bite is swift and deadly.

However, this was a compliment–it showed respect for the natural abilities of the player.

10 Life Lessons from Kobe Bryant

1 – “The moment you give up, is the moment you let someone else win.”

Of course, winning is everything to an elite athlete. But, how can you relate? Do you want to promote to a new job? Or, do you aspire to finish a degree you never completed? You must also develop an abundant mindset and gather the courage to “go for the win” in life.

We live in a competitive world. Besides, we are competing on a global level thanks to the internet. To get what you want, you must work for it. Because ultimately, giving up means a 100% chance of failure.

2 – “If you’re afraid to fail, then you’re probably going to fail.”

This is one of the most profound life lessons we can take from Kobe Bryant.


Almost all human beings fear failure, it’s an integral part of our “wiring.” However, it’s what we do with that fear that matters. You can overcome your fear and use that energy to reach your goals. Instead, harness the negative energy. You know it–the little voice that whispers that you’re not good enough.  Then, change your mindset and use that energy to power forward and accomplish all that you want in life.

3 – “Haters are a good problem to have. Nobody hates the good ones. They hate the great ones.”

Too often, we worry about what other people think. Sometimes, we care more about impressing our Instagram followers than becoming truly happy.

So while you might not want others to hate you, success breeds jealousy. If you become successful, those who envy you will develop negative feelings. Rise above that, hold your head high and enjoy all the benefits of your hard work…despite the haters

4 – “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.”

The Mamba Mentality meant that nothing stood in the way of success on the basketball court. This legendary player did not allow others to stop him from scoring points and winning games.

Although this sounds ruthless, the truth is that there’s still a life lesson in this Kobe Bryant quote. We must carve our own path in life and stick to it. Of course, you will meet naysayers along the way who try to distract you. But don’t give in to their negative energy.

Reach the goals that best serve you and your loved ones– it’s the true way to genuine happiness.

5 – “Use your success, wealth and influence to put them in the best position to realize their own dreams and find their true purpose.”

Despite the Mamba Mentality, this superstar had a big heart off the court. He took ownership of managing his money in a way that he grew wealthier. As a result, he branched out into philanthropic ventures.

From mentoring underrepresented female athletes to providing after-school programs to needy inner-city kids, Bryant and his wife Vanessa believed in giving back.

So even if you’re not a millionaire sports legend, you, too, can make a difference. Find a cause you love. It can be working with shelter animals, homeless people, or aging veterans. Then…commit to it.

You’ll find that you are receiving back more than you are giving.

6 – “I realized that intimidation didn’t really exist if you’re in the right frame of mind.”

Have you ever been bullied, put down, or belittled? This quote offers a fresh perspective–you allow yourself to be intimidated.

Feeling intimidated–or not–is a mindset. Choose to deflect the negative energy and brush it off.  Even though that is easier said than done, this rule of Mamba Mentality will help you rid yourself of these toxic people.

7 – “The most important thing is to try and inspire people so that they can be great in whatever they want to do.”

Again, the Mamba reveals a softer side. Off the court, Bryant served as a role model for young athletes around the world.

Regardless of your profession, you cannot help but admire someone who approached his game with such mechanical precision. Furthermore, you can learn from the man’s continuous desire to improve and succeed both on- and off-court.

So, find someone who inspires you. Strive to improve your mindset and set goals. In time, you will become great at doing what you love.

 8 – “Once you know what failure feels like, determination chases success.”

Athletes in every sport know that the opposite of the victory is the ice-cold feeling that stems from defeat.

All of us face setbacks, roadblocks, or challenges in life. However, only with determination and a positive mindset can you view these as “temporary.”

The truth is that failure is part of life. It teaches us lessons that we could not learn otherwise. However, moving forward after failing with a renewed sense of confidence urgency will set you back on the right path.

So bounce back, set your goals, chase your dreams, and refuse to let others hold you back.

9 – “A lot of leaders fail because they don’t have the bravery to touch that nerve or strike that chord.”

Being successful at what you do requires bravery. And that sometimes means that you’ll annoy others as you stand up for what you believe is right.

Think of some of the most effective social activists and leaders of all time:

Sometimes, you must be brave enough to stand up for what is right. And that means you have the heart of a leader.

10 – “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.”

This life lesson reminds us that Kobe Bryant worked hard to perfect his game. Although some might argue that Bryant was “born into” basketball, the fact remains that he began training at the early age of three and watching videos as a pre-teen.

Undoubtedly, he had a natural talent. However, he also possessed the work ethic that took that talent to the next level in his career. He was willing to mentor anyone who was willing to put in time and energy.

And isn’t that something we should all try to do?

Final Thoughts on Taking Life Lessons from Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant retired from basketball and went on to continue to mentor others and give back to the world. He led basketball camps, advocated for women athletes, contributed to the homeless, and loved providing for LA’s neediest children. We all watched this gifted teenager grow into manhood in front of the world.

And he was far from perfect–he was perfectly flawed. Like all of us. Ultimately, that’s what made Kobe so likable a guy. The juxtaposition between the ruthless Mamba Mentality and the sweet dad and mentor fascinated all of us.

Kobe Bryant’s life philosophy was simple. Honor him by achieving all that you can. Focus on the positive, develop a mentally strong mindset, and work hard. Then, you can achieve all your goals. Rest in peace, Mamba.