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"I Had A Kill List": 13-Year-Old Kobe Bryant Kept Tabs on Players He Wanted to 'Humble'

The Mamba Mentality has come a long way since its inception. But unbeknownst to most, Kobe Bryant had that mentality instilled in him since the tender age of 13. Bryant is prominent for establishing and associating himself with his identity, referred to as ‘Mamba Mentality’. It is an indication of the ‘Never Back Down’ spirit he carries with himself.

Kobe Bryant retired a five-time NBA champion. He attained the pinnacle of basketball through years of hard work and dedication to being the best version of himself which amounted to over 20 years of sacrifices.

However, he was a relatively unknown ball player coming into his teenage years. To combat this issue, Bryant had curated himself a ‘Hit List’ so to speak.

Kobe Bryant procured a ‘Hit List’ of players ranked ahead of him at 13!

Following his retirement and prior to his untimely death, Bryant had begun appearing at interviews hosted by former NBA players. One such interview included former NBA players Stephen Jackson and Matt Barnes on their podcast ‘All the Smoke’.

Bryant shared his insights into how he perceived the game and how he approached situations where players ranked ahead of him at the age of 13. Suffice it to say, the ‘Mamba Mentality’ was instilled in him from that age.

When asked regarding the fact that whether he had a ‘Kill list’ at 13, Bryant concurred and said:

“I did”

Bryant went on to mention the reasoning as to why he did so and named the players that were involved in it. He continued:

“(People) ranked higher, cause going into my sophomore year, I was probably ranked somewhere in like probably top 200..Something like that. And then it kinda went up. Hundred, fifty and then by the time I was a senior, it hit number one. JO, Jermaine (O’Neal) was up there. Lester Earl, Shaheen Holloway, Corey Benjamin, Mike Bibby. It was fun getting to know everybody..”  

It’s translucent that the origin for the mettle stemmed from a young age of having doubters question his ability. To transcend that doubt to success at 13 years of age was remarkable.

Kobe Bryant’s unrivaled work ethic

Bean’s work ethic has no parallel. Several peers of Bryant have specifically outlined that attribute of his, hoisting that rationale as his Hallmark for success. The dedication, desire, and will possessed by Bryant enabled him to be perceived as the greatest player that the NBA has borne witness to in his own right. It also made Bryant a peripheral symbol of success.

Like it or not, Kobe Bryant exemplifies the phrase, ‘Success is earned, not bought’! 

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