Call it the “Bamba Mentality.”
Mo Bamba was recently asked by Chris Forsberg of ESPN what has been the best advice he has received early in his pro career. Turns out it came from none other than Kobe Bryant.
I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall for the conversation between Bamba and Mamba, wherever and whenever it took place. Fair warning, in true Kobe fashion, philosopher that he is, the advice Bryant gave Bamba is pretty damn confusing. But after reading it back about five times, I think it kind of makes sense.
“The best advice that I’ve gotten was to not lay your eggs in one basket, but to lay your eggs in one basket, which is the oddest thing I’ve ever heard in my life but it actually makes a lot of sense,” Bamba told ESPN. “See, when you’re involved in basketball, you’re told to have backup plans, so that resembles laying your eggs in multiple baskets. But if you really want to be great at this and you really want to be special, you gotta lay your eggs in that one basket. You gotta go for it and not be afraid to fail. Who told me that? Kobe Bryant.”
Basically, Kobe is saying you need to be wise and have a back-up plan beyond basketball, but in order to be great, you must prepare and play as if you don’t have a back-up plan in place (I think?).
I don’t care how confusing it is, if I’m Bamba, I’m taking the advice of someone who has five championships, is third on the NBA’s all-time scoring list, has won an Emmy, recently turned a $6 million investment into $200 million, and most importantly, did this..
Bamba was also asked which player he is most excited to compete against. I assumed he was going to say Joel Embiid, who he has been scrimmaging against. It wasn’t Embiid, or even a fellow center. Bamba is looking forward to the ultimate challenge.
“Honestly, I’m looking forward to going against the best player and that’s LeBron [James],” Bamba told ESPN. “Not a lot of people can say they played against Kobe [Bryant]. And not a lot of people can say they played against [Michael] Jordan. Everyone who does kinda has a story about it. I’m looking forward to playing against LeBron.”
So Bamba is taking advice from one of the best ever and also looking forward to playing against one of the best ever.
And here is more on the Mamba Mentality that Kobe is perhaps trying to instill in Bamba...