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The mamba mentality : how I play
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Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* Bryant is inarguably among the top 20 basketball players of all time: five-time champion, 18-time all-star, the list goes on. But overshadowing all the achievement is his legendary work ethic, drive, and devotion to the craft of basketball. The black mamba is the deadliest of snakes; Bryant was the deadliest of opponents. He could suck the air out of a rival's arena by leading a frenetic comeback or hitting a game-winning fadeaway jumper as the clock wound down. Bryant, the son of a former NBA player, came to his obsession early, joining the Los Angeles Lakers at just 17. The work ethic was part of his DNA. This extraordinarily beautiful book is built around the photography of Andrew D. Bernstein, the official team photographer of the Lakers and the L.A. Clippers. He took Kobe's rookie head shot and captured the rest of his career as well. The full-color shots dominate, showing Bryant at practice, in the training room, working out in the summer, and, of course, there are dozens of breathtaking game shots. Bryant's accompanying text is spare but insightful, at times elegant. He offers plenty of anecdotes about teammates and opponents, which will satisfy fans interested mainly in the memoir aspect; but what sets this book apart from the competition is Bernstein's photography. It's wonderful. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

PW Annex Reviews

"I had a constant craving, a yearning, to improve and be the best," writes Los Angeles Lakers legend Bryant in this exciting coffee-table book full of inspiring quotes, insights to his game, and beautiful photos by Bernstein. With a focus on "Process" and "Craft," Bryant lays out his routine, including the rigorous workout schedule—three two-hour sessions that started at 5 a.m.—that he developed in order to maximize family time ( "I decided to sacrifice sleep"). Bryant writes that, early in his career, he scoured the referee handbook, which allowed him to get away with "holds, travels, and all sorts of minor violations simply because I took the time to understand the officials' limitations." Even the national anthem served as game preparation, during which he tried "to feel the energy of the environment and allow it to move through me." With Bernstein's intimate, vivid photos, readers get escorted to cheerless practice gyms, press scrums, and sterile locker rooms. "Greatness is not for everybody," Bryant believes, and in this pictorial he convincingly chronicles the relentless zigzagging required for those who hope to achieve it. A wide range of hoops fans—from NBA buffs looking to understand Bryant's approach to aspiring hoopsters seeking an on-court edge—are in for a treat. (Oct.)

Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly Annex.

Author Biography

Kobe Bryant is one of the most accomplished and celebrated athletes of all time. Over the course of his twenty-year career—all played with the Los Angeles Lakers—he won five NBA championships, two Olympic gold medals, eighteen All-Star selections, and four All-Star Game MVP awards, among many other achievements. Bryant retired in 2016. He lives in Southern California with his wife, Vanessa, and their three daughters. He still claims he’s never been beaten one-on-one.

Andrew D. Bernstein’s photography has appeared in thousands of newspapers and on magazine covers worldwide. Bernstein is the long-time official photographer for the Los Angeles Lakers and the senior photographer for the NBA. He is the 2018 recipient of the Curt Gowdy Media Award from the Naismith Basketball Hall Of Fame. He regularly appears on ESPN’s SportsCenter and other national television and radio programs.

- (McMillan Palgrave)


The NBA great nicknamed "The Black Mamba" shares his knowledge and understanding of basketball, outlining his detailed approach to preparing both physically and mentally to succeed at the game and revealing the core of his "Mamba mentality." - (Baker & Taylor)

In the wake of his retirement from professional basketball, an NBA great nicknamed "The Black Mamba” has decided to share his vast knowledge and understanding of the game to take readers on an unprecedented journey to the core of his legendary “Mamba mentality.” - (Baker & Taylor)

The first book from the basketball superstar Kobe Bryant—a lavish, deep dive inside the mind of one of the most revered athletes of all time - (McMillan Palgrave)

The first book from the basketball superstar Kobe Bryant—a lavish, deep dive inside the mind of one of the most revered athletes of all time

In the wake of his retirement from professional basketball, Kobe “The Black Mamba” Bryant has decided to share his vast knowledge and understanding of the game to take readers on an unprecedented journey to the core of the legendary “Mamba mentality.” Citing an obligation and an opportunity to teach young players, hardcore fans, and devoted students of the game how to play it “the right way,” The Mamba Mentality takes us inside the mind of one of the most intelligent, analytical, and creative basketball players ever.

For the first time, and in his own words, Bryant reveals his famously detailed approach and the steps he took to prepare mentally and physically to not just succeed at the game, but to excel. Readers will learn how Bryant studied an opponent, how he channeled his passion for the game, how he played through injuries. They’ll also get fascinating granular detail as he breaks down specific plays and match-ups from throughout his career.

Bryant’s detailed accounts are paired with stunning photographs by the Hall of Fame photographer Andrew D. Bernstein. Bernstein, long the Lakers and NBA official photographer, captured Bryant’s very first NBA photo in 1996 and his last in 2016—and hundreds of thousands in between, the record of a unique, twenty-year relationship between one athlete and one photographer.

The combination of Bryant’s narrative and Bernstein’s photos make The Mamba Mentality an unprecedented look behind the curtain at the career of one of the world’s most celebrated and fascinating athletes.

- (McMillan Palgrave)

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