Gilbert Arenas Reveals How Michael Jordan Turned Kobe Bryant ‘Psycho’: “You Can Wear These Shoes but You Can Never Fill Them”

Published 12/27/2021, 12:00 PM EST
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. – JAN. 13, 2015. Lakers guard Kobe Bryant warms up before a game against the Miami Heat on Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2015, at Staples Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)


Kobe Bryant is one of the most inspirational athletes of all time. His elite mentality has been a source of motivation for budding athletes and kids around the world. The ‘Mamba’ mentality, as he would call it, was developed through years of hard work and perseverance.

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Gilbert Arenas, a three-time NBA All-Star, narrated an incident involving Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, which made Bryant a ‘Psycho’. 

Michael Jordan taunted Kobe Bryant, which didn’t turn out so well for him

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Arenas talks about an incident during a game that inspired Kobe to score 55 points against the Washington Wizards and Michael Jordan. During a regular-season game between the Wizards and Lakers, Jordan walked up to Kobe and said, “you can wear the shoes but you could never fill them.” Kobe apparently was wearing a pair of Jordans which made MJ make the remark.

Gilbert Arenas then goes on to add how Jordan’s remarks made Kobe a ‘psycho’.

Kobe didn’t say anything to anybody for like two weeks… He didn’t talk to his players and his teammates, he was in like focus mode. The practice was just so intense. The players were like, ‘Yo is he mad at us? Did we do something to him?'” mentioned Arenas.

The next time Kobe faced Jordan, he was out to show him what he is really capable of. He dropped 42 points in the first half itself and went on to score an insane 55 points in the entire game.

Kobe’s Mamba Mentality

Bryant is regarded as one of the greatest athletes ever. His dedication and winning mindset is what separated him from the rest. So what is the Mamba Mentality? Here’s how Kobe Bryant defines it. 

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To sum up what mamba mentality is, it means to be able to constantly try to be the best version of yourself. That is what the mentality is. It’s a constant quest to try to be better today than you were yesterday,” as mentioned by Kobe Bryant in his book titled ‘The Mamba Mentality: How I Play’.

Kobe Bryant directs his teammates during a game against the Timberwolves on Friday, Dec. 11, 2009, at Staples Center. (Photo by Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

The book talks about Kobe Bryant and his mindset which helped him achieve so much greatness. An iconic quote from the book sums up Kobe perfectly, “A lot of people say they want to be great, but they’re not willing to make the sacrifices necessary to achieve greatness.” 

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What is your favorite memory of Kobe Bryant? Let us know in the comments below.

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Abhinava Ghosh

186 articles

Abhinava is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his Bachelor's in Journalism and Mass Communication. Abhinava has been following NBA for the past 6 years and is a huge fan of the Golden State Warriors and Stephen Curry.

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