Chinese netizens reminisce about late NBA star Kobe Bryant and his 'mamba mentality' following Oscars tribute

Source:Global Times Published: 2020/2/10 16:21:22

A fan-made memorial to remember NBA great Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna sits in the LA Live Plaza Thursday in Los Angeles. The two were killed along with seven others in a helicopter crash on January 26. Photo: VCG

Filmmakers and pop stars paid tribute to Kobe Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash on January 26, at the Oscars on Sunday night, which ignited a new wave of remembrance on Chinese social media.

The Black Mamba was a nickname for Bryant, who once summarized his "mamba mentality" "means to be able to constantly try to be the best version of yourself," according to a report by Phillippine news outlet ABS-CBN Sports.

The Oscars' In Memoriam segment honored 163 talents who passed away in 2019, including Bryant, US director-screenwriter John Singleton and Chinese actor Godfrey Gao.

During the segment, 18-year-old singer Billie Eillish gave a stunning performance of the Beatles song "Yesterday." Eillish later told reporters from US television newsmagazine Entertainment Tonight that every time she saw Bryant's face appear on the screen during rehearsal, she felt shocked and sad over the superstar's passing.

US director-producer Spike Lee, who directed the documentary Kobe Doin' Work in 2009, wore a purple and gold suit on which Bryant's number 24 appeared on the lapels and back as well as a pair of Nike orange and black Kobe sneakers to the Oscars.

In 2018, Bryant became the first African-American and former professional athlete to win an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film for Dear Basketball, which was based on a poem the basketball superstar wrote upon his NBA retirement. On Sunday, former NFL player Matthew A. Cherry won the same award for his Hair Love. In his acceptance speech, Cherry emotionally said "this award is dedicated to Kobe Bryant. May we all have a second act as great as his was." 

The hashtag #OscarsHonorsKobe received 3.17 million views in just a few hours on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo. Many netizens recalled the inspiration they got from the basketball star and the richness of his mamba mentality.

"The Oscars is considerate in organizing this. Mamba mentality will last forever. Kobe, we miss you," a verified Sina Weibo user wrote in a post that has more than 1,600 likes and 143 reposts.

A quote from an interview Bryant gave in 2008 has also gone viral on Sina Weibo: "Life is too short to get bogged down and be discouraged. You have to keep moving. You have to keep going."

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