Kobe Bryant and His Mamba Mentality Were ‘Hated’ by the Rest of the NBA

Kobe Bryant was a lot of things during his 20-year NBA career with the Los Angeles Lakers. He was a five-time NBA champion and a two-time NBA Finals MVP. Bryant was also the NBA MVP for the 2007-08 season.

But if you believe what Gilbert Arenas has to say, something Kobe Bryant wasn’t in the NBA was well-liked.

In fact, the three-time All-Star went so far as to say Bryant and his “Mamba Mentality” were “hated” by the rest of the league, at least until the end of his career anyway.

It’s no secret that Bryant, like his idol Michael Jordan, was an extremely competitive person. And it’s also no secret that Kobe, like MJ, could be hard on his teammates at times.

One would assume that Jordan’s explanation in The Last Dance of why he treated his teammates like he did could also be applied to Bryant at times.

ln a recent appearance on the I Am Athlete podcast, Arenas engaged in a conversation on greatness. Naturally, as one of the greatest players in NBA history, Kobe was one of the subjects of that discussion.

Arenas claims that while Bryant, who tragically died in January 2020, and his “Mamba Mentality” are now celebrated, that wasn’t the case during Kobe’s playing days.

“When we’re in sports and we’re on teams, our natural instinct is to fit in, to be liked. Greatness doesn’t want to be liked. Nobody liked Kobe Bryant.

Like it’s funny when everybody had a “Mamba Mentality.” Everybody hated the “Mamba Mentality.” Y’all hated that he thought selfish like that. Now it’s okay.”