Book Review: The Mamba Mentality: How I Play by Kobe Bryant

As we know, Kobe Bryant is a very hard worker and wants to do his best in everything that he does. He did not disappoint in his book The Mamba Mentality. It is a quality book, especially in hardcover, full of nice, big photographs. It is very easy to read, with short paragraphs on each page. It is very insightful and entertaining at the same time. I especially recommend this book to basketball players, coaches, and Kobe fans, but this book can also be helpful for any athlete or coach.

I want to begin by explaining the main message of the book and the idea behind the “Mamba Mentality.” Kobe defines the Mamba Mentality as the process of reaching an end result. It is the attitudes, motives, values, habits, behaviors, and knowledge needed to reach your biggest goals in life. From learning about Kobe’s mentality, you can learn how to better reach your goals. Much of the way Kobe thinks and behaves can be applied by others.

However, Kobe is not saying that his mentality is the best and that everyone should adopt it. He wants you to build your OWN mentality. Everyone has their own unique goals, personality, and circumstances, so everyone needs a slightly different mentality in order to succeed. He is just offering advice and lessons that he has learned from the legends before him that are universally applicable. Remember, greatness is built on the shoulders of legends of the past. Kobe doesn’t want to just brag about how good he is. He sincerely has a desire to help elevate human excellence and future generations.

The first half of the book is full of insightful tips and inspiration. You learn what motivates Kobe, how he balances basketball with other priorities, how he leads, how he trains, how he prepares, and how he performs. Even if you have read many self-improvement books, you’ll be surprised at how much you can learn from Kobe. It is not just common cliches. I read many ideas that I’ve never even thought about before. For instance, I learned that Kobe didn’t make a big deal about “clutch shots.” He reasoned that he shot hundreds of jump shots a day (in practice, warm-ups, and in games), so what’s one more (at the end of the game)? This attitude helped him stay relaxed and confident during pressure situations. I’ll let you read the book yourself to learn all of the other helpful and inspirational tips.

For most of the second half of the book, Kobe tells about how he played against (and what he thinks about) players that he’s competed against. He talks about how he tried to defend Allen Iverson and how he tried to score against Lebron James. This part of the book goes more into basketball specific tips, but it is still helpful for non-basketball players and coaches. There are still great things to learn from this section of the book, but definitely not as much as the first half of the book if you aren’t as interested in basketball.

Overall, the book is worth buying! For a basketball player/coach, It is definitely a top 10 book that you can read to help your game. For people not as interested in basketball, it is still a top 30 book to help your game.