Growing up, Kobe Bryant was one of my favorite athletes, with his near-superhuman abilities on the basketball court being an absolute joy to watch. He was an all-time great scorer and defender and is rightfully considered one of the greatest National Basketball Association (NBA) players ever. Bryant retired after the 2016 NBA season, and while most athletes’ influence drops once they retire, Bryant was different. As I started playing sports more, ultimately finding my passion in esports, one thing that stuck out to me was how Kobe Bryant was built on his exceptional mindset and dedication. This was a man who stayed later than anyone else in practices to prove he outworked them. This was a man who, after tearing his Achilles tendon in a late-season game at the age of 34, proceeded to try and roll the tendon back down his leg through excruciating pain, essentially trying to squeeze water out of stone, just to make a push for the playoffs. Even when that had no result, he still went out and shot two free throws mere moments later. This was a man who let absolutely nothing stand in the way of being the best he possibly could be, and used every moment he could to make strides toward further greatness. This is shown through Bryant’s signature “Mamba Mentality”, named after the Black Mamba snake. In an article by the Musa Art Gallery in late 2021, they say “According to (Kobe) Bryant, mamba mentality means to try to be our best versions constantly. He stated that it referred to individuals being better each day than yesterday. Simply put, the Mamba Mentality is about conquering your fears and being your best self.” Kobe Bryant did everything in his power to be his best self, leaving no “what-ifs” on the table for if he could do better or work harder. While this goal of self-improvement certainly applies to sports, or in my case esports, the Mamba Mentality stretches far beyond that. Kobe Bryant’s Mamba Mentality first inspired me back during my sophomore year of high school, when I was at one of my lowest points. I heard countless stories of how Bryant had defied odds, outworked everyone, and of course channeled his signature Mamba Mentality into everything he did, and it inspired me to do the same. In the four years since I have never looked back, and even today there are times when academics, extracurriculars, and life in general put me through hardship, but with it all, I have done everything I can to embrace the same ideas Kobe Bryant has and make sure I put my best foot forward and push for achieving my peak. While his historical dominance, many championships, and all-time great talent might be the first things that come to mind for many NBA fans, his mindset and dedication, which has inspired millions to push themselves to be their best, has been the most defining legacy that he has left for me and others to follow.