Jeff Passan from ESPN came across a text late Lakers legend Kobe Bryant had sent John Altobelli. He is one of the nine passengers who died in the helicopter crash on Jan. 26. Altobelli was a personal friend of the Black Mamba and the head coach of Orange Coast College baseball team. They were going through a two-game losing skid early in 2019. It was a mini-crisis and they needed a solution to the problem. Kobe and Altobelli were also close as their daughters play together on the elite Mamba Sports Academy team. John Altobelli learned all about the Mamba Mentality.
“By all means feel sorry for yourself. By all means make excuses. By all means feel discouraged. By all means don’t play like this game is the most important thing to you. By all means entertain yourself with other sh*t because the game of baseball will be here forever and you will have infinite opportunities to play this game. You will infinite opportunities to put on your gear, feel the glove, the ball, etc. The game of baseball will wait for you. Life will wait for you.”
John Altobelli got the message from Kobe
“It’s not as life can be taken away from you at any moment. Nooo that would be crazy, that would be cruel. Right? So, by all means, play the game as if [you] will have all the swings you can dream of and when the day comes when you realize baseball, that life doesn’t work that way, you will understand that the best [way] to play is by ANY MEANS necessary. By any means. No excuses. No waiting. PLAY as if every at bat may be ur last.”
There was also some expletive speech.
Some say this text is a cheat sheet of an inspiring pre-championship speech. However, Kobe lived by these words every day.
Altobelly accepted the message and displayed them on an orange bulletin board.
Bryant was 41, but every minute of his life was full of excitement and success. He was the Black Mamba, and he breathed the Mamba Mentality. Bryant wanted to share his knowledge with others.