Mamba Mentality

Our Favorite Mamba Mentality Players in the 2022 Playoffs

It has been over two years since the world lost Kobe and Gianna Bryant, but their legacy still has an enormous impact throughout the basketball, and sports, community. Our third NBA postseason without Mamba, we at AH decided to acknowledge some players in this years playoffs who are doing their fair share in carrying the legacy of the Mamba Mentality. These players have a chance to carry their teams into the Finals; and their attitudes, spirits and competitiveness is what makes a product like the NBA Playoffs more exciting. 

Kyrie Irving

With a mix of Brooklyn and Celtics fans here at AH this was something most of us agreed on. We have varying opinions across a spectrum of sports takes, but we all know what Kyrie does on the court is elite. He hit the coldest Game 7 NBA Finals shot in history. Everyone knows what he is capable of (except the people who made the NBA 75 list). Many of us are counting on him to have a 40 plus point game tonight or multiple in this series in order for them to advance. In the end, it’s going to be him or KD with the burden of carrying the scoring load to keep up with the Celtics down the stretch as this series is going to easily go six or seven games. 

Giannis Antetokounmpo

Another who worked with Kobe, and is already a first ballot Hall of Famer. It’s easy to tell he is not satisfied with just one Finals MVP. He continues to push the pace, as he is an MVP finalist yet again. We expect about a decade more of this from Giannis, who continues to expand his game. He knows how great he is now and he is not afraid to show it in the slightest. We expect him to always be in the mix in hopes this series stays as physical as we saw in game one.

Jayson Tatum

Supremely confident, does not care if he is shooting 2-20 in a game as long as the 21st goes in when it counts. I guess that always stirs the pot on NBA twitter. Celtics fans love him. He makes tough shots, not afraid of the big moment, his offense game is becoming more polished year over year and he is not afraid of anything. Tatum and Brown vs Durant and Kyrie make a beautiful series, as we expect Tatum to try to rip the hearts out of Nets fans the rest of the way. 

Devin Booker

With one tough NBA finals loss under his belt, the Devin Booker playoff era has arrived. Since the bubble, we all have seen that he is one of, if not THE most, polished scorers in the league. Being the 13th pick in the draft is not the only thing Booker and Kobe have in common. Both are on a short list of guys who scored 70+ points in an NBA game. When watching Booker, we all agree it reminds us of watching Kobe. It doesn’t matter what the defense gives him, he can score 42 points without a single 3 or come out and shoot 7-11 from beyond the arc in the first half like last night. Unless NBA official Scott Foster stands in the way (as he hates Bookers teammate, Chris Paul) they have a serious shot to win it all this year. 

Editor’s Note: Booker is unlikely to play in games three and four in Nola due to a right hamstring injury. Pain.

Luka Dončić

The multi-lingual assassin. The guy who had the audacity to say scoring in the NBA was “easier” than other leagues, and hit a game winner in the playoffs while standing on the Black Lives Matter logo. The only thing standing in the way from being at Kobe level is showing up to camp in the best shape of his life and staying healthy. It sucks for us that he isn’t cleared to play. We’re hoping the Mavs and Jazz can keep this series interesting enough for when he is able to make it back into the lineup.

Honorable Mentions

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