Leaving Stephen Curry Petrified With Mamba Mentality, Kobe Bryant Was Nothing Short of “a Monster” To Former NBA Star

Published 07/28/2023, 12:10 PM EDT

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The late NBA legend Kobe Bryant was a dominant force on the basketball court. Kobe won 5 NBA titles with the Los Angeles Lakers and was a part of the all-star team a whopping 18 times. Kobe’s awe-inspiring presence on the court often intimidated opponents and left them amazed at his skills. Of course, he was also known for his mentality. Kobe’s never-give-up spirit and locked-in focus earned were eventually nicknamed the Mamba mentality.

The force of Kobe’s will left even star guard Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors petrified. An NBA star revealed in an interview that Kobe was nothing short of “a monster” on the court. This revelation from another NBA star highlights the sheer dominance and intimidation that Kobe brought to the hardwood.

The early years of Kobe Bryant and his ‘Mamba Mentality’


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In a fascinating podcast conversation with Kevin Garnett, former NBA star Isaiah Rider shared a captivating story. It showcased the early development of Kobe Bryant’s legendary Mamba mentality. During a camp, Rider and Bonzi Wells once saw Kobe get his chance to shine. The young Bryant was eagerly waiting to show off his skills. Even though Kobe’s game was a bit wild and fast at first, Rider couldn’t help but see how much promise the young player had.

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“Kobe was a monster, um, he was sitting, and when he got his chance he got his chance,” exclaimed Isaiah. “I don’t think I ever seen a little young cat like that with that much.”


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Even though the young prodigy’s first moves may have been a bit wild and overly bold, Rider saw right away that there was something special about him. Kobe’s hard work and ability impressed him, and he saw a bright future for him in the NBA.


The 2001 NBA Champion explained, “In my mind, I already knew he gonna be real, real good.”

Rider’s insights and early admiration for Kobe’s promise only confirmed that the basketball star’s life was about to change, cementing his image as an unstoppable force on the court. Something even the ever-elusive Stephen Curry couldn’t shake off.

Stephen Curry felt the pressure from Bryant

Steph is renowned for his remarkable three-point shooting skills and dazzling handles.


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But despite his prowess as a marksman, Curry found himself outmatched when the Mamba was applying unrelenting defensive pressure. Steph recently recalled a preseason meeting with Kobe that left a lasting impression on him.

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So he stays with me like for four or five defensive slides. And then he bumps me, and I kinda fall off-balance. So I am actually gassed at this point. I am tired. This dude trying to get in shape during a preseason game. He is going all out on the defensive pressure and he is way bigger and stronger than me. He is bumping.


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Bryant’s relentless dedication to the “Mamba Mentality” was on full display in yet another preseason game. As he fiercely guarded Curry full-court, unwilling to let up for even a second. The Black Mamba‘s bigger and stronger frame left Curry gasping for air.

Kobe Bryant’s legendary defense was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Curry, symbolizing the relentless spirit of the “Mamba Mentality”. This experience forever changed Curry and serves as a testament to the legendary competitiveness of Kobe Bryant.


Written by:

Amey Dhume


One take at a time

Amey is an NBA content writer at EssentialySports. As an NBA enthusiast, Amey closely follows the league and stays updated on the latest happenings. With a background as a state-level basketball player, he brings a unique perspective to his writing about the sport.
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Edited by:

Aakash Nair