Former Raptors Star Reveals How Kobe Bryant Channeled His Mamba Mentality Through His 81-Point Performance

Published 01/23/2021, 2:30 PM EST
5 March 2010: Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant (24) shoots a free throw against the Charlotte Bobcats during an NBA basketball game at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, North Carolina on March 5, 2010. (Photo by Chris Keane/Icon SMI/Icon Sport Media via Getty Images)


Last night was the 15th anniversary of Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant scoring 81 points on the Toronto Raptors. It was a display of unparalleled scoring, leadership, and greatness.

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Recently, Jalen Rose, who was part of that Raptors team, revealed few details of the Kobe massacre, which proves how Kobe lived by what he preached.

He said, “When people show that game, they show Kobe walking to the bench putting one finger in the air. Or they show him making a three over me. Or they show him getting a steal and double pump putting behind his head dunking on the breakaway. But the most important thing that he did that day, he never talked trash, and he never made it about him. That’s the Mamba Mentality.

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“To me it’s an honor, to be a footnote, bug on the windshield, or bump in the road, or whatever you want to call me for the legacy of Kobe Bryant. Because any tribute that the world has for him, number 8, number 24, statues, he definitely deserves it.”

Kobe Bryant: Not just a scoring machine

Rose has been heavily trolled for that game since then, but he has embraced it now. At the start of the video, he also praises Kobe for his discipline. Rose says that Kobe could have had 100 if he wanted. So when people joked about how he let Kobe have such a game, he is happy they were able to restrict him to 81.

That game proved that Kobe was one of the best scorers the game has ever seen. But he was a lot more than just a scorer. He is a 12-time All-Defensive team member, nine of which are First Team honors. He was one of the most relentless and the most aggressive defenders.

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His scoring was exceptional, but so was his defense. One of Kobe’s most iconic defensive highlights is where he locked up Dwyane Wade. He started with a full-court press and successfully made him use up the shot clock, which resulted in a turnover.

This two-way excellence is what made Kobe one of the greatest to play the game.

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Aaron Mathew

1522 articles

Aaron Mathew is a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Mass Media from Xavier’s College, Aaron has been a part of EssentiallySports since May 2020 where he covers both NBA and NCAA basketball news, and has also covered NBA 2K. In the past, Aaron has worked at the Sports Desk of Mumbai Mirror.

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