Basketball, the only major world sport undeniably invented by a Canadian, has ironically failed to win Canadians’ hearts more than a century after its creation. James Naismith’s brainchild is a popular recreational pastime in his homeland, but players with bigger dreams had better take their talents south of the border. Canadian hoops has languished in the seemingly eternal shadow of hockey, with its cannibalization of air time, advertising dollars, and corporate capital.
Faced with limited opportunities at home, as many as 50 teenagers flock to U.S. prep schools and colleges every year to chase their dreams of college stardom and, much less likely, a shot at glory in the NBA. Against all odds, a skinny kid from Victoria named Steve Nash managed to reach the pinnacle of the sport, with a whirling-dervish style that earned him two MVP awards in the world’s greatest league.
Today, a new generation of Canadians stand poised to follow in Nash’s path. But will their success spark a renaissance back home? This book chronicles basketball’s struggle to overcome its history as a poor cousin in a hockey-mad nation.
In the wake of his retirement from professional basketball, Kobe “The Black Mamba” Bryant has 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.
For the first time, and 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.