After showing up to last night’s game wearing a throwback No. 8 Western Conference All-Star jersey in honor of Kobe Bryant, Victor Oladipo channeled the Mamba Mentality made famous by the late Los Angeles Lakers legend by hitting a game-tying 3-pointer to send the game into overtime.
Oladipo, the Pacers’ 27-year-old shooting guard, had not played in an NBA game since suffering a ruptured quad tendon in his right knee on January 23, 2019.
In his first action in over a year, Oladipo scored 9 points in 21 minutes of action, including a game-tying 3-point shot that sent the contest against the Chicago Bulls to overtime.
After the Pacers secured a 115-106 overtime victory, Oladipo said in his postgame interview that it was his “Mamba Mentality” that allowed him to hit the game-tying shot.
“I just shot it, man, I just shot it, man — Mamba Mentality. Mamba Mentality. Mamba Mentality, man — that’s for Kob, Gigi, all the people that was on that helicopter — that’s for them, man. It’s been a tough year, man, but, tough times don’t last, tough people do. And I work so hard man, thankful for my friends, this state, these people, my family, my teammates,” Oladipo said.
Kobe, 41, and Gianna Maria Bryant, 13, were two of the nine people who were killed in the Calabasas helicopter crash on Sunday, January 26.
The thoughts and prayers of the entire BroBible team out go out to the friends, family, and loved ones of the Bryant family and the families of all the victims during this extremely difficult time. May Kobe, Gianna, and all of the victims of the crash rest in peace. Mamba Forever.
Eric is a New York City-based writer who still isn’t quite sure how he’s allowed to have this much fun for a living and will tell anyone who listens that Gotham City is canonically in New Jersey. Follow him on Twitter @eric_ital for movie and soccer takes or contact him email@example.com