Mamba week begins now.
Today marks the day that Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant would have been 42 years old. He was taken from us too soon back in January when he died in a helicopter crash alongside his daughter Gigi and 7 others. Bryant was a Nike athlete, and the swoosh decided to honor the Black Mamba by releasing a short film that hopefully serves as some inspiration. That inspiration, of course, comes in the form of what Bryant famously called Mamba Mentality.
“It’s to constantly try to be the best version of yourself. It’s a constant quest to try to be better today than you were yesterday,” is how the 5-time champion explained it.
The film is narrated by Kendrick Lamar, showing love to the man who changed LA sports forever.
“Kobe taught us to be better. A better scorer, better mentor, better father, better champion,” Lamar passionately says in the 90-second clip.
Brands aside, the special day has led fans and celebrities alike to share their memories of Kobe on social media. That includes NBA players who looked up to Bryant, were inspired by him, or privileged enough to play with him during his 20-year career as a Los Angeles Laker.
“The beauty of basketball, for me, is that it’s a sport you can never perfect. What made Kobe great was that he wasn’t scared to try new things, because that risk of failure is where you grow,” said NY Liberty guard Sabrina Ionescu. “Kobe tried to perfect everything about his game, from the way he played to the way he approached the game.”
Check out some of the touching tributes in the gallery below.