Kobe Bryant‘s ability to take over and finish a game is well known around the NBA and is what has made him so respected and revered by fans. His Black Mamba nickname stems from his eagerness to go for the kill late in games (figuratively speaking, of course). As the old adage goes, being clutch and cold-blooded is not something that can be taught.
Further vilifying that claim is the video which has recently surfaced of a high school playoff basketball game of Lower Merion when Bryant played. In typical Mamba fashion, with a trip to the Final Four on the line, Bryant took over in the fourth quarter.
Bryant scored 29 of his 35 points in the second half, including 18 in the final period. It’s clearly evident that Bryant’s mindset was apart of him at a young age, as was his leadership ability.
Bryant would be named Pennsylvania Player of the Year that season, his junior year, and would lead his team to a state title the following season. From there, as they say, it’s all history. Bryant joined the Lakers in 1996 after forgoing college and has become not only one of the greatest Lakers of all-time, but one of the greatest NBA players of all-time.