By: Michael Hanich | Sports Editor
Whenever a major sports event or news story transpires, the world stands still. On Sunday, January 26th, the world stopped in shock and disbelief as they heard the news of 18-time NBA All-Star in Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash that killed eight others. Among the perished with Kobe was his 13-year old daughter, two of her basketball teammates, their parents, fellow coaches and the helicopter pilot.
The five-time NBA champion changed the sport of Basketball after the peak of Michael Jordan. Many claim Bryant as the best player to ever play the sport of basketball but most, if not all, claim him as one of the best players of all-time. Kobe not only changed the style of play, but he also changed the way players prepare, train, and live their lives through the sport of Basketball.
Kobe has inspired many players to participate in the sport of Basketball from youth to the NBA. One player of the sport of Basketball is South Alabama Jaguars guard Chad Lott. As a fellow guard, Lott has cited Kobe as one of the biggest inspirations for the style of play in games and on the practice court.
When asked about the impact that Kobe Bryant has made on his basketball career, Lott expressed his main influences in the sport are from his father and Kobe.
“Me personally, Kobe is one of the few people I’ve taken my game from when it comes to who influenced me to play the game with a passion.”
The Mamba Mentality is an attribute that Lott has transitioned into his game. Bryant has been open about the high-intensity physical and mental gamesmanship he utilizes every day. When asked about what he believes the Mamba Mentality is, Lott responded, “The will to win. Kobe had a different will to win. Mamba Mentality is a mentality that doesn’t accept losing as an option.”
The mentality of Kobe Bryant is an attribute that Lott was very complimentary of, he added, “His competitive nature. He’s probably one of the most competitive athletes of all-time in any sport. So really, just his mentality and his mindset versus his skill levels of course.”
Many people who are either players or coaches of the NBA or fans of the sport Basketball have been blessed to see Kobe Bryant perform. Lott was asked about any favorable moments of him to where he responded with, “I went to see him play one time in my life. It was against Dallas. I believe it was in 2011 and we probably got the worst seats in the building but just to be the same atmosphere and to watch him operate on the court was a special moment.”
Kobe was a player that was one of the most electrifying playmakers with the ball and create shots for himself. Lott has been a player throughout his career with the South Alabama Jaguars. When Chad was asked if he attempts to copy Kobe Bryant’s well-known moves, Lott responded “I have a few moves that I have taken from him. The ‘over the shoulder’ spin fadeaway is something I probably directly took from him.”
Kobe Bryant was a player who was able to make himself one of the best players of all-time due to his tremendous on-the-court playing ability and a mentality that demands dominance. Many players from youth to current NBA players try to be like Jordan or Kobe to make themselves a legend. Lott is among one of those players looking to dominate on-and-off the court for the South Alabama Jaguars. Lott will lead the Jaguars though the rest of the season as they look to become Sun Belt Conference Regular Season Champions for the first time since 2008.