“She’s the MVP”: A’ja Wilson’s Tribute to Kobe Bryant Garners “Mamba Mentality” Shouts from Basketball World

Published 09/06/2023, 4:36 PM EDT

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Kobe Bryant’s legacy extends far beyond the NBA, reaching into the world of women’s basketball. Following Kobe’s retirement, he would often take his daughter Gianna to WNBA games. Wilson soon became a mentor to Gianna, forming a close bond with the Bryant family.

The MVP forward for the Las Vegas Aces, A’ja Wilson, is one of the professional players in Las Vegas who looked up to Kobe Bryant. Most recently, the WNBA champion paid tribute to the Lakers legend, following which she garnered “Mamba Mentality” shouts from the basketball world.

A’ja Wilson pays tribute to Kobe Bryant


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A’ja Wilson recently paid a touching tribute to the late Kobe Bryant on Instagram. In a recent post of the Las Vegas Aces, Wilson could be seen sporting the recognizable Nike Kobe 6 Protro Grinch sneakers, which are particularly dear to Kobe Bryant fans. Wilson was sporting the eye-catching green shoes that were dubbed “Grinch” owing to their vivid color scheme in the Instagram post with the caption “Overtime 🐍.” These sneakers were initially produced as a Christmas edition in recognition of Kobe Bryant’s enormous contribution to the sport.


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More than just a fashion statement, A’ja Wilson’s decision to wear the “Grinch” sneakers could be seen as a sincere tribute to the influence Kobe Bryant had on her career and the entire basketball world. Kobe Bryant’s impact continues to motivate athletes to pursue excellence even in his absence. Meanwhile, following the tribute to Bryant’s legacy, many fans were left touched and couldn’t help but applaud her for her “Mamba Mindet.”


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Basketball community reacts to Las Vegas Aces’ pictures

As the official account of the Las Vegas Aces posted the pictures of Wilson in Kobe’s shoes, Instagram was flooded with sincere messages of admiration for Kobe Bryant and A’ja Wilson. Wilson received praise from many fans for upholding the “Mamba Mentality” and continuing the tradition of excellence that Kobe promoted during his career.

A fan wrote, ” She stay in the gym . I guess that’s why she’s the MVP ” embodying Wilson’s relentless drive.


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Many other reactions poured in with fans lauding Wilson. Another fan wrote, “That’s our M’VP baby! She stay locked in”. Another fan commented, “That Mamba Mentality “

“Dope!!!!,” wrote a fan. While another fan was overjoyed by the post and wrote, “We love to see it!!”. And a fan expressed their love for the WNBA champion. They wrote, “Love you”. And meanwhile, this post pushed a fan to buy the sneakers, “I gotta get some Kobe Grinch shoes now.”


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Watch This Story: “He Passed That Sunday”: Shaquille O’Neal’s 66YO Buddy Reminisces the “Surreal” Moment When the World Lost NBA Legend Kobe Bryant

What are your thoughts on A’ja Wilson? Let us know in the comments below!


Written by:

Ranjitha Ramesh


One take at a time

Ranjitha Ramesh is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. With a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication, Ranjitha has a strong foundation in reporting and writing. Her passion for basketball, particularly the Lakers and LeBron James, fuels her desire to delve into the lifestyle and off-court activities of NBA stars.
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Edited by:

Saumya Khanduja