Natalia Bryant Shares How She's Honoring Dad Kobe Bryant's Legacy With "Mamba Mentality"

Three years after the death of Kobe Bryant, his oldest daughter Natalia Bryant shared how she continues his legacy by "putting your best foot forward at all times regardless of all the noise."

By Gabrielle Chung Oct 12, 2023 9:29 PMTags
Watch: Natalia Bryant Shares How She's Honoring Kobe's Legacy

Natalia Bryant is keeping her dad Kobe Bryant's legacy in mind.

After all, the model—who is the oldest daughter of the late Los Angeles Lakers legend and Vanessa Bryant—says she walks through life with the "mamba mentality," a tenet focused on self-improvement taken from Kobe's Black Mamaba nickname.

"Mamba mentality is about constantly trying to be the best version of yourself," she told Elle in an interview published Oct. 11. "It's putting your best foot forward at all times regardless of all the noise. I want to make sure that mentality stays intact, because it can be so easy to give up on yourself when things get tough. You have to remind yourself that with positivity and resilience you can do anything."

And in tough times, the 20-year-old said she focuses her energy "on the things that bring me happiness," including spending time with mom Vanessa, 41, and younger sisters Bianka, 6, and Capri, 4.

Vanessa Bryant and Daughters Honor Kobe at Handprint and Footprint Unveiling

"My family is my rock," she continued. "My mom and my sisters are amazing, and I can always lean on them for support. I also have amazing friends and mentors that I love who I know I can count on." 

JC Olivera/Getty Images

Natalia added that "self-reflection" is also key to personal development.

"It's about appreciating the growth and lessons that have gotten you to where you are," she shared, "and embracing your best self."

Indeed, the "mamba mentality" is all about looking inward and bringing out the best. As Kobe wrote in his 2018 book The Mamba Mentality: How I Play, "I liked challenging people and making them uncomfortable. That's what leads to introspection and that's what leads to improvement. You could say I dared people to be their best selves." 


Kobe's enduring principle led to the creation of the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to creating positive impact for young and underserved athletes. The organization was named after the basketball star and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, who were among the nine people killed in a helicopter crash in 2020.

Natalia previously shared that she wears a necklace with gold medallion of the foundation's seal "all the time" in honor of Kobe and Gianna.

"It says ‘Dedication makes dreams come true,'" she told Vogue last year. "It's a quote from my dad, and it's something I live by."

Keep reading to look back on Kobe's impressive life in photos.

Early Beginnings

The Charlotte Hornets selected Bryant in the first round of the 1996 NBA Draft.

Lakers Bound

After being the 13th overall pick in the 1996 NBA Draft by the Charlotte Hornets, Kobe the traded his draft rights to the Los Angeles Lakers.


Bryant is joined Shaquille O''Neal as they pose for a portrait with the Championship Trophy after defeating the Indiana Pacers in Game 6 of the NBA Finals in 2000.

Black Mamba

Bryant helped the Lakers to a victory following Game 5 of the NBA Finals against the Orlando Magic in 2009. The Lakers won the National Basketball Association championships defeating Orlando 99-86 for their 15th title and first since 2002. Bryant had 30 points, eight rebounds and six assists as the Lakers completed a four-games-to-one victory in the best-of-seven NBA Finals.

Eye on the Prize

Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls is guarded by Bryant during a 2007 game played in L.A.

No. 1 Fan

Pictured here at the NBA Most Valuable Player Awards in 2008, Bryant and longtime love Vanessa were married in 2001. 


Kobe and fellow NBA player Lebron James of the U.S. Men's Senior National Team defeatied Spain 118-107 in the men's gold medal basketball game at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games in 2008. 

Family Forever

In 2010, the Bryant family celebrated the Lakers win over the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals. 

Legends Never Die

 Lakers fans celebrated Kobe's Game Seven win at the 2010 NBA Finals. 

Taking It All In

Kobe participated in the Lakers victory parade following their NBA championships win in 2010. 

An Icon

Bryant accepted the Icon Award onstage during the 2016 ESPYS.


The couple attended the 2018 Vanity Fair Oscars party.

A Fond Farewell

Bryant's family were by his side as he retired both his #8 and #24 Los Angeles Lakers jerseysat Staples Center in Dec. 2017. 

Oscar Winner

At the 2018 Oscars, Bryant won the award for Best Animated Short Film for Dear Basketball.

Kobe's Little Girl

Gianna Bryant, who also died in the crash, attended a basketball game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Atlanta Hawks in Nov. 2019.

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