On this day, Kobe Bryant shook off a ruptured Achilles to sink a pair of free throws before limping off the court.
There are many legendary tales one can tell about the life and career of Kobe Bryant. You can talk about all the NBA championships he won, the time he lit up Jalen Rose and scored 81 points or even take it off the court and recall that time he won an Academy Award.
But if you want to talk about a singular moment that embodies what the “Mamba Mentality” is all about, then look no further than this moment from eight years ago today.
On this day in 2013, Kobe suffered a ruptured Achilles, the worst injury of his career, and really, the worst injury a basketball player can suffer.
Kobe Bryant sinking free throws on a torn Achilles is the Mamba Mentality
Embracing the mentality that made him one of the most accomplished athletes of all time, Kobe shook it off like you or me shake off stubbing our toe on the coffee table and walked to the free throw line. Kobe sank both free throw attempts while the pain from his ruptured Achilles would have had mere mortals curled up in the fetal position.
This is the Mamba Mentality personified.
Eight years ago, Kobe was able to get up and drain two free throws after tearing his Achilles. pic.twitter.com/3GJ2szbKkS
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 12, 2021
Whether you were a Los Angeles Lakers fan and adored Kobe or you were a Kobe critic, both sides have to agree that this is the type of will and mental fortitude that has to be championed and respected.