March 28th, 2003.

My childhood hero goes up against my adulthood hero.

For the last time.

MJ vs. Kobe.

My buddy Noah and I took our seats way up in the nosebleed section of the Staples Center, fired up about seeing Michael Jordan play in-person for the first (and final) time.

Pardon the cliche, but there was electricity in the air. Not only because it was MJ’s last game in Los Angeles, but because there was a young player on the Lakers named Kobe Bryant who idolized him, emulated his moves, and pretty much became him.

No one in the arena knew what was going to happen that night; we just knew that something was going to happen.

And boy did it happen.

Jordan started the game hot, knocking down his patented fadeaway jumpers and even throwing down a dunk in the first quarter. Vintage MJ.

And that’s when Kobe … went off.

Kobe put up 42 points on 14-for-18 shooting, including EIGHT 3-pointers.

In the first half.

It was the greatest basketball performance I’d ever seen — live or on television.

Kobe finished with 55 points, MJ with 23 (of course).

Some say that the torch was passed that night. But nah, MJ was never a big fan of passing. Kobe went out there and took it from him.

I mean, who does that??

Who puts up a double-nickel (that’s 55 points) on his childhood idol?

Who scores 81 points in a single 48-minute game?

Who drops 60 points and single-handedly leads his team to the most improbable comeback victory … in his final game ever?

Kobe Bryant did.

To do what Kobe Bryant did — winning 5 NBA championships, an Oscar, and an Emmy — you have to think different. Dream different. Believe different.

I still haven’t fully come to grips with him being gone. (Getting there.) What I miss more than the games is the mindset. His death may have been an accident, but what made him shine in life certainly wasn’t.

On today’s episode, Kobe shares a few of his Mamba Mentality secrets, including how he used visualization to stretch his belief in what’s possible.

Source: Kobe Bryant | Mamba Mentality | USC Performance Science Institute

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