KOBBEEE !o

"KOBBEEE !" is what every NBA fan shouts as he shoots a ball at the rim, a crumpled shirt at a plastic basket, or a junk piece of paper at the garbage. The late Lakers MVP shooting guard slithered beyond the court, to help out at any opportunity he got. For 12 years Kobe Bryant was an ambassador for the After-School All-Stars. He used his time and resources to help out with tutoring, academic enrichment, and athletic programs. He was able to inspire more than 90,000 kids and help build opportunities for them. Whether at Staples Center or away, Bryant was committed to visiting different schools even if his schedule was full or if he lacked the energy for it. Throughout this tour, Mamba left stories, wisdom, resources, and lasting memories to all the teens and children for over a decade of spare time. During an interview, Kobe stated his reasons for why he decided to partner with the program: "As you get older, you see how many people you can affect and how many lives you can touch and the difference you can make and it really puts things into perspective. I used to hear it all the time when I was a kid – that you have to stay focused; education is the key – but as a kid, it never really sinks in unless you’re put in an environment where all that comes to fruition. So, it has to not only be said but it has to be lived, and in this program and this environment, it’s lived on a daily basis. That’s why I think this program is so special", he said. This side of the number 24 was not displayed that much by the media on account of his persistence and originality on the court, but as the 18th time NBA All-Star retired on the 13th of April 2016. He retired winning and scoring 60 points out of 50 shots on his last game against Utah Jazz, while carrying a bag of 5 NBA championships, 2 NBA Finals MVP, NBA Most Valuable Player in 2008, and 4 NBA All-Star Game MVP. The latter was able to dedicate his time and energy to the people and help them pursue their basketball dreams. As for the nickname of "Black Mamba", Kobe said it was inspired by the code name for a deadly assassin in Quentin Tarantino's 2003 movie "Kill Bill", Bryant adopted the nickname to separate his personal life from his basketball life. After a short time, the nickname belonged to Kobe and the "Mamba mentality" was born. Kobe used to start practicing as early as 5 a.m and leave at 7 a.m. when he was in high school. In his professional life, Mamba kept pushing himself, spending hours working out before and after practice. Sometimes, he squeezes the venom glands displaying incredible passion and dedication out of nowhere. That is what the "Mamba mentality" is all about; focusing on the process and trusting in the hard work when it matters most. It’s been more than 2 years now, and Kobe Bean Bryant is still around us. We still shout "KOBBEEE !" when we throw stuff, BRYANT is still printed on jerseys as any NBA fan's favorite. "KOBE" is repeated in songs from different genres. MAMBA is the spirit and mentality of many athletes from all around the world. His face is still painted on buildings everywhere. He left this world, yet his spirit is still in every hustler's heart, and it is what lives in them. Kobe Bryant has left us. Mamba never will.

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