Kobe Bryant's death has struck hard against many NBA players, past and present, leaving them looking for guidance, opting to change the way they looked at the game or even focusing themselves on other aspects of life.
Former Washington Wizards star Gilbert Arenas is one of those who had his life impacted by Bryant both on the court and off it. In the wake of his passing, Arenas has not only revealed a recommendation Bryant suggested during a meeting in the tunnels of Staples Center.
The former Agent Zero also gave a little insight into the truth of "Mamba Mentality" and why it doesn't mean what most players believe it to mean.
View this post on Instagram
The three-time All-Star was one of the players who notably gave Bryant trouble during his career. Arenas famously slammed the Bryant-led Lakers in 2006 with a 60-point performance, with 8 rebounds and assists respectively. The Wizards defeated the Lakers in overtime, but it was a performance that was worthy of Kobe Bryant and his own tendency to rack up points.
But in a post shortly after Bryant's death, Arenas revealed that he was going to take Bryant's advice in his honor.
"I will fulfill the task u requested from me in this picture," Arenas wrote in the caption of his Instagram post. "You told me to use my bright basketball mind on some form of coaching on an nba/college bench or coaching kids. stop wasting it being an idiot on social media….Today I’m starting my coaching career with [SoCal Cavs] 'the legacy of an assassins mind will live on.'"
Arenas has called his coaching decision his own second act, much like Bryant's post-NBA life was defined as the start of a second act. Sadly it was cut short by his tragic death alongside his daughter Gianna and several others.
The former Wizard was even featured on CBS LA 2 as taking up the "challenge" from Bryant.
Arenas followed his decision with a return to his podcast after a two-month break. And with that return, Arenas discussed the reality of "Mamba Mentality" and what it represented on the court.
"No one knows what Mamba Mentality is because if you did, you’d be scared of it. See everyone thinks Mamba Mentality is I had the greatest performance. Yeah, Mamba Mentality. What? Like I [saw] a kid I don’t know if it was high school, park league or whatever," Arenas on his No Chill Podcast. "He had 81 points with the chance at the free-throw line to score 82 [and] he missed it.[He was only satisfied with tying Kobe Bryant’s 81] son that is not Mamba Mentality. Mamba Mentality is you got 81 and you have a free-throw to make 82, you get f—ing 82. And most likely, you get fouled again, so you can get the ball again to score 83 and 84. That’s what the Mamba Mentality. Mamba Mentality is that we are not in a zoo, we are in the wild."
View this post on Instagram
Please stop watering down KOBES mentality..the media..his teammates..most fans HATED mamba mentality becuz it's (Ruthless/savage) the world called him selfish for not wanting to pass🤔BUT from his view everyone else was selfish💯👌🏾KOBES view....if I'm practicing 3 times a day..shooting 1000-3000 shots a day and ur taking 100-300 shots a day YOU are selfish to (want) the ball knowing ur not the best option to be taking shots "my bad shots are better then ur good shots" 💯🔥 the obsession to being great is Kobe's mindset/removing anyone and anything out of ur way that doesn't have the same obsession is mamba mentality 🙌🏾🙌🏾💯 @thenochillpodcast
Leave to Agent Zero to get to the core.