Last night the Los Angeles Lakers retired Kobe Bryant’s two jerseys, hanging No. 8 and No. 24 from the rafters at Staples Center in a halftime ceremony during the team’s 116-114 overtime loss to Golden State. Today, Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry joined The Jim Rome Show on CBS Sports Radio and showered praise on Bryant, his fellow Philadelphia native, with Lowry just honored he got to share the floor with the former Lakers great.
“He was the most ferocious player I’ve ever played against. He was more physical on offense, than he was on defense,” Lowry said. “He’s been a tremendous man for the game of basketball and he’s been a trendsetter and he made every last person in the NBA and the basketball world try to elevate their game to keep up with him. He started a phrase, ‘Mamba Mentality’ that everyone uses to this day and will continue to use.”
At 20-8 and off to a fast start in the Eastern Conference, Lowry has seen his team sharpen their aggressiveness after getting swept by Cleveland in the second round of the 2016-17 playoffs. That focus plays into what Lowry thinks of when he hears the term “Mamba Mentality.”
“Kill or be killed. Do whatever you have to do, to push through,” Lowry said. “Take your game, take your life, take everything to the next level. Don’t worry about, don’t feel no pain, no fear, no nothing. Just go out there and do it.”
The three-time All-Star also shared his thoughts on another star player who currently resides in Philly, 76ers center Joel Embiid.
“He’s proven that he’s been healthy, so that’s a positive right there,” Lowry said. “His game is unbelievable. He can shoot it, he can dribble it, he can pass it, he can play. He talks trash. I mean he’s bringing the game to another level with bigs.
“You got to appreciate what he’s done on the floor. I think his team has gotten better, he’s believing in what they are doing, he talks the trash and he backs it up. And it’s fun. It’s fun for guys to see it, it’s pretty cool.”