Live with the Mamba Mentality: Now & Forever More.

The news hit different. 

Kobe Bryant, the man who gave the world a reason to both love and hate the Lakers, inspired people to chant his name as they shot airballs at trashcans, and one of the first in his generation to enter barbershop G.O.A.T conversations after Jordan left the league, the Black Mamba himself… left the building.

According to several media outlets he and his mini-Mamba Gianna “GiGi” Bryant along with several other passengers, including collegiate baseball coach Jon Altobelli, his wife and daughter, died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, CA. There were no survivors and nine people were killed.

Y’all. We ain’t even left January yet.

2020 has been scary, eye-opening and full of an intense energy that I truly believe will rival 2016 and 2019 for sheer mind-boggling “We wasn’t ready”-ness. The night is truly dark and full of terrors.

But in the midst of the tears, the pain, and the unrealness of what has happened, I believe in following the ways of our beloved ancestors and learning from the ones who passed on so we can be, do and have better.

Our newly crowned ancestor was the Black Mamba for a reason. The man had ice in his veins. He was a fearless warrior on and off the court who played his heart out, doing things that defied logic and ultimately impacted the game of basketball forever. 

In  reflecting on his legacy, it is his words about his mentality that stick with me today. 

“If you see me in a fight with a bear, pray for the bear”.  I’ve always loved that quote. That’s “mamba mentality.” We don’t quit, we don’t cower, we don’t run. We endure and conquer. Stop feeling sorry for yourself, find the silver lining and get to work with the same belief, same drive and same conviction as ever… Mamba Out.” 

Man do we ever need that. 

As we face unprecedented times of crisis, political , environmental and social disruption it becomes easy for us to want to go against Kobe’s words. Right now it is so comforting to fall into scrolling mindlessly, eating endlessly, drinking, smoking and drowning in whatever vices may ease the pain of hopelessness because it feels like we are in a fight with no ordinary bear. This is an army of night-walking-zombified-100 million-ton bears with fangs of pure venom ready to go for our jugulars.

And as the pant-shittingly realness of the terrors we face stare us down, rearing to charge, that  Mamba mentality must find its way to the forefront of our minds. 

We don’t quit, we don’t cower, we don’t run. We are Mamba.

God help those fucking bears.

We love you Kobe.


Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

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Jael R. Bakari

Jael is a weirdo. Armed with an imagination that rivals virtual reality and a M.S. in Psych when Jael isn’t analyzing the actions of celebrities and public figures she is busy creating rich worlds of Color (pun intended) dressed in fantasy and magic that focus on her life’s mission: to show we are all human through the power of stories. Her hobbies include reminiscing about growing up in pre-Hipster Brooklyn, reading all the books and painting with the bulk of her time split between raising an active family of five with her husband Solomon in the Peach State and sprinkling the outcomes of her research, meditations, musings, and general silliness across social media. To learn more about Jael and read the weird thoughts from her head visit her at

Jael R. Bakari has 17 posts and counting. See all posts by Jael R. Bakari


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