The Mamba Mentality: How I Play

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The Mamba Mentality: How I Play is Kobe Bryant’s personal perspective of his life and career on the basketball court and his exceptional, insightful style of playing the game—a fitting legacy from the late Los Angeles Laker superstar.

In the wake of his retirement from professional basketball, Kobe “The Black Mamba” Bryant decided to share his vast knowledge and understanding of the game to take readers on an unprecedented journey to the core of the legendary “Mamba mentality.” Citing an obligation and an opportunity to teach young players, hardcore fans, and devoted students of the game how to play it “the right way,” The Mamba Mentality takes us inside the mind of one of the most intelligent, analytical, and creative basketball players ever.

In his own words, Bryant reveals his famously detailed approach and the steps he took to prepare mentally and physically to not just succeed at the game, but to excel. Readers will learn how Bryant studied an opponent, how he channeled his passion for the game, how he played through injuries. They’ll also get fascinating granular detail as he breaks down specific plays and match-ups from throughout his career.

Bryant’s detailed accounts are paired with stunning photographs by the Hall of Fame photographer Andrew D. Bernstein. Bernstein, long the Lakers and NBA official photographer, captured Bryant’s very first NBA photo in 1996 and his last in 2016—and hundreds of thousands in between, the record of a unique, twenty-year relationship between one athlete and one photographer.

The combination of Bryant’s narrative and Bernstein’s photos make The Mamba Mentality an unprecedented look behind the curtain at the career of one of the world’s most celebrated and fascinating athletes.

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About the author

Kobe Bryant (1978-2020) was one of the most accomplished and celebrated athletes of all time. Over the course of his twenty-year career—all played with the Los Angeles Lakers—he won five NBA championships, two Olympic gold medals, eighteen All-Star selections, and four All-Star Game MVP awards, among many other achievements before retiring in 2016.

In 2018, Bryant won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film as writer of Dear Basketball, which he also narrated. He was the first African American to win the award as well as the first former professional athlete to be nominated and win an Oscar in any category.

As a philanthropist, Bryant founded the Kobe & Vanessa Bryant Family Foundation (KVBFF) and the Kobe Bryant China Fund, organizations dedicated to providing resources for educational, social, and sports programs to improve the lives of children and families in need, and encourage cultural exchanges between Chinese and U. S. middle school children. He was also an official ambassador for After-School All-Stars (ASAS), a nonprofit organization that offers after-school programs to low-income children in more than a dozen U. S. cities.

With entrepreneur Jeff Stibel, Bryant co-founded Bryant Stibel, a company designed to offer businesses specializing in technology, media, and data strategies, capital, and operational support.

Throughout his post-professional basketball career, Bryant claimed he’d never been beaten one-on-one.

Andrew D. Bernstein’s photography has appeared in thousands of newspapers and on magazine covers worldwide. Bernstein is the long-time official photographer for the Los Angeles Lakers and the senior photographer for the NBA. He is the 2018 recipient of the Curt Gowdy Media Award from the Naismith Basketball Hall Of Fame. He regularly appears on ESPN’s SportsCenter and other national television and radio programs.

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Additional Information

Publisher
MCD
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Published on
Oct 23, 2018
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Pages
208
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ISBN
9780374719159
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Sports
Sports & Recreation / Basketball
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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The inside story of one of basketball's most legendary and game-changing figures 

A New York Times bestseller

During his storied career as head coach of the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers, Phil Jackson won more championships than any coach in the history of professional sports. Even more important, he succeeded in never wavering from coaching his way, from a place of deep values. Jackson was tagged as the “Zen master” half in jest by sportswriters, but the nickname speaks to an important truth: this is a coach who inspired, not goaded; who led by awakening and challenging the better angels of his players’ nature, not their egos, fear, or greed.

This is the story of a preacher’s kid from North Dakota who grew up to be one of the most innovative leaders of our time. In his quest to reinvent himself, Jackson explored everything from humanistic psychology and Native American philosophy to Zen meditation. In the process, he developed a new approach to leadership based on freedom, authenticity, and selfless teamwork that turned the hypercompetitive world of professional sports on its head.

In Eleven Rings, Jackson candidly describes how he:

   •  Learned the secrets of mindfulness and team chemistry while playing for the champion New York Knicks in the 1970s
   •  Managed Michael Jordan, the greatest player in the world, and got him to embrace selflessness, even if it meant losing a scoring title
   •  Forged successful teams out of players of varying abilities by getting them to trust one another and perform in sync
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   •  Transformed Kobe Bryant from a rebellious teenager into a mature leader of a championship team.

Eleven times, Jackson led his teams to the ultimate goal: the NBA championship—six times with the Chicago Bulls and five times with the Los Angeles Lakers. We all know the legendary stars on those teams, or think we do. What Eleven Rings shows us, however, is that when it comes to the most important lessons, we don’t know very much at all. This book is full of revelations: about fascinating personalities and their drive to win; about the wellsprings of motivation and competition at the highest levels; and about what it takes to bring out the best in ourselves and others.
From the moment these two players took the court on opposing sides, they engaged in a fierce physical and psychological battle. Their uncommonly competitive relationship came to symbolize the most compelling rivalry in the NBA. These were the basketball epics of the 1980s — Celtics vs Lakers, East vs West, physical vs finesse, Old School vs Showtime, even white vs black. Each pushed the other to greatness — together Bird and Johnson collected eight NBA Championships, six MVP awards and helped save the floundering NBA at its most critical time. When it started they were bitter rivals, but along the way they became lifelong friends.  

With intimate, fly-on-the-wall detail, When the Game Was Ours transports readers to this electric era of basketball and reveals for the first time the inner workings of two players dead set on besting one another. From the heady days of trading championships to the darker days of injury and illness, we come to understand Larry’s obsessive devotion to winning and how his demons drove him on the court. We hear him talk with candor about playing through chronic pain and its truly exacting toll. In Magic we see a young, invincible star struggle with the sting of defeat, not just as a player but as a team leader.  We are there the moment he learns he’s contracted HIV and hear in his own words how that devastating news impacted his relationships in basketball and beyond. But always, in both cases, we see them prevail.

A compelling, up-close-and-personal portrait of basketball’s most inimitable duo, When the Game Was Ours is a reevaluation of three decades in counterpoint. It is also a rollicking ride through professional basketball’s best times.

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