Kobe’s Mamba Mentality Tour strikes Manila
Kobe Bryant has been to Manila far too many times, but for the Los Angeles Lakers legend, who is in the country anew, the city known for its love for basketball never fails to enamor him.
“I’m excited. It’s always fun to come here. There’s so much energy that surrounds the game, so much passion that surrounds the game. I enjoy myself every time I come here,” said the retired NBA superstar Bryant during the press conference for his Mamba Mentality Tour with Nike Saturday at Shangri-La at the Fort in Taguig.
Bryant, who arrived Saturday morning and is expected to leave Monday, is in the country for the seventh time.
The two-time Olympic gold medalist is known for his clutch performances and relentlessness that earned him five NBA championships, 11 All-NBA First Team selection, 18 All-Star nods among his other accolades throughout his 20-year career all with the Lakers.
The 37-year-old Bryant played his final NBA game on April 14 in a way only he could, scoring 60 points to lead the Lakers over the Jazz at Staples Center.
It was a legendary performance that up to now, still feels surreal for the two-time Finals MVP.
Bryant has hung up his kicks but that hasn’t kept him from staying in shape.
“It’s really important for me to stay in shape so I’m still working out, still training, still doing those sorts of things.”
Bryant will also remembered for his competitiveness and that approach led to the creation of “Mamba Mentality,” which has been the trademark of his game.
“To sum up what ‘Mamba Mentality’ means, it means to be in constant quest to try and be the best version of yourself. That’s what the mentality is. It’s a constant quest to be better today that you were yesterday and be better tomorrow than you were the day before,” Bryant said.
And his legacy lives on with Cleveland Cavaliers superstar Kyrie Irving paying homage to Bryant, attributing the biggest shot of his career — a game-winning triple in Game 7 of the Finals.
“I feel great about it. It means everything I’ve done throughout my career, it doesn’t just stay in the history books. It just doesn’t sit on a mantle with all those trophies and gold medals, it means that the legacy has been passed on to the next generation and hopefully, they can do the same,” Bryant said.
“The fact that he was thinking about that in Game 7, it means that I’ve done something more than simply good.”