Today, August 23rd, marks what would have been Kobe Bryant’s 42nd birthday, and to honor the late Los Angeles Lakers legend, Nike released a tribute video narrated by Kendrick Lamar.
The video embraces the “Mamba Mentality” of “Just be better,” with Lamar’s spoken word the foundation of a montage of clips that includes highlights from Bryant’s Hall of Fame career, shots of athletes in training and footage from recent George Floyd protests.
“Better friend. Better fighter. Better rider. Better eater. Better leader. Better generation. Better nation,” Lamar says in the 90-second clip. “Just be better. Can you do that?”
The rapper adds in rapid fire delivery, “Better player. Better shooter. Better scorer. Better G.O.A.T. Better G.O.A.T. Better mentor. Better minor. Major. Mover. Shaker. Better skater. Better artist. Better teacher. Better preacher. Better believer. Better first. Better future. Better hero.”
“Better celebrates the universal relevance of progress and highlights Kobe’s prolific desire for improvement,” Nike said of the campaign. “The Mamba Mentality is about getting better, every day, in everything we do. In his own words, Kobe described his Mamba Mentality by saying, ‘It’s to constantly try to be the best version of yourself. It’s a constant quest to try to be better today than you were yesterday.’ While incremental change may feel small in the short term, those subtle shifts culminate to greater progress over time. This relentless drive for improvement is the legacy Kobe leaves.”
Bryant died January 26th in a helicopter accident outside Calabasas, California that also claimed the lives of eight more people, including his 13-year-old daughter Gianna.