Los Angeles Rams linebacker Bobby Wagner had one of the most special season debuts in honor of Kobe Bryant’s “Mamba Mentality.”
Bobby Wagner has played in SoFi Stadium before, but on Thursday night, it was different. The Los Angeles Rams season opener marked the first time Wagner wore a Rams uniform. And in doing so, Wagner found a way to celebrate the city of Los Angeles by celebrating one of its most venerated sports icons.
On primetime, Wagner honored the late NBA legend Kobe Bryant’s “Mamba Mentality” with a pad in his shorts showing a picture of Bryant wearing his Los Angeles Lakers jersey.
The Rams had an unfortunate loss of 31-10 against the Buffalo Bills in the season opener, but Wagner played a decent game. He had seven total tackles (five solo and two assists) and one sack. In most seasons, Wagner has averaged five tackles per game as the league’s leading middle linebacker, so he was right on par with past seasons despite the disappointing outcome.
Wagner is embracing his first season in Los Angeles, and his L.A. teammates are embracing him right back. Wagner has already been voted as a team captain for the Rams for the 2022 season.
This all comes after Wagner spent ten seasons in Seattle with the Seahawks, so playing in Bryant’s beloved Los Angeles for the first time as a Ram warrants commemoration.
As far as Mamba Mentality in the NFL, Bobby Wagner has been the embodiment of Kobe’s mantra for the past decade.
Bobby Wagner embraces Rams by embodying Kobe Bryant’s Mamba Mentality
Any athlete of any sport can benefit from Mamba Mentality. The concept focuses on trusting the process and the work you’ve put in, rather than letting luck determine the outcome.
Bryant stated in a past interview that “‘Mamba mentality’ is all about focusing on the process and trusting in the hard work when it matters most. It’s the ultimate mantra for the competitive spirit. It started just as a hashtag that came to me one day, and it’s grown into something athletes — and even non-athletes — embrace as a mindset. Hard work outweighs talent every time. Mamba mentality is about 4 a.m. workouts, doing more than the next guy and then trusting in the work you’ve put in when it’s time to perform. Without studying, preparation and practice, you’re leaving the outcome to fate. I don’t do fate.”
As a veteran athlete brand new to a team for the first time in his career, it’s probably nerve-wracking for Wagner to start this season. However, his hard work has taken him far before, and it’s far from the end for the reigning Super Bowl champs.