How Kobe Bryant Influenced the Game

Kobe Bryant came, saw, and conquered the game of basketball, and while his sudden tragic death hit the sports industry at large, his legacy that is The Black Mamba Mentality lives among many young and experienced players. The Lakers’ legend changed the game and how people viewed the sport.

Here are some of his biggest contributions that influenced the game of basketball:

  • Age is just a number

Top names like LeBron James have dominated the NBA league and at his age of 35, the Lakers man seems younger while playing. The prime years of Bryant were behind him at some point in his career and his athleticism had left him. He, however, found a way to still dominate the court and remain as lethal as he used to be. Kobe would continue to deliver stellar performances until his last NBA game. He defied the odds that older players are likely to underperform.

  • The shoe game

Before the ‘Bryant era’ most of the NBA players rocked high-cut and mid-cut shoes. While this was understandable in the protection aspect, Kobe rocked low-cut shoes and made it seem so cool. Among the many reasons Kobe opted for the low-cut shoes was because of his love for soccer. He would thrive in the shoes and his influence started spreading across the NBA.

  • Greatness in the game

Look away Toronto Raptors, New York Knicks, and Utah Jazz fans. Does eighty-one, sixty-one, and sixty-five sound familiar? This was prime Bryant. He ran a rampage in 2006 over the Raptors with an 81-point performance that is one of the best the NBA has witnessed. A 61-point performance against the Knicks at the Madison Square Garden is yet another masterclass and his 60-point performance against Utah Jazz underlined the greatness in Bryant.

  • Over two decades’ dominance

During the ‘pre-Bryant era’ very few believed that a player would still lead in performances after 15 years in the NBA. The physical peak age for most NBA players was around 30 years of age but with Kobe came a different view. He opened the way for future NBA stars by showing that he can dominate even after the 30s. He used creative thinking skills that saw him produce top-notch performances.

  • One for the ladies

After announcing his retirement, Kobe took another dimension by starting to coach his daughter Gianna. Through the period, he was dedicated to see the Mambas progress, learn from him, and ultimately promoting women’s basketball. While the WNBA currently isn’t as popular as the NBA, the league had been getting into the spotlight thanks to Kobe’s effort. Kelly Graves, Oregon coach, once said that Kobe was a ‘great voice and champion of the women athletics.’

  • Success outside the court

Kobe’s success was not entirely based on basketball. He went outside his basketball hub to winning an Academy Award for his short film ‘Dear Basketball’. The film was his retirement announcement told in a very unique way. He created an avenue for other players to go outside their limits to achieve more.