Los Angeles Lakers icon Kobe Bryant is not exactly known as an especially generous athlete. While Kobe has engaged in plenty of charitable acts (including advocacy for LA’s sizable homeless population), his persona has always depended on setting high expectations for those around him and offering only tough love, if not outright animosity. Plenty of his former teammates could testify to these assertions.
Yet Kobe is a man of many layers, and it would be wrong to say he cannot find it in his heart to help those who ask for his assistance. For instance, when a high school makes a deal with its teacher that one Kobe Bryant retweet can save them from having to take a final, he’ll do it. Indiana high school senior William Pate sent Kobe the request on Thursday morning:
— Lul Yoひngsta‼️ (@WilliamPate36) May 18, 2017
It took nearly seven hours for Kobe to respond, but he came through in the clutch:
It’s a pretty cool gesture from Kobe. Not everyone has the ability and platform to keep a whole class from having to take an especially tough test, and he did them a solid. What a great guy!
Or maybe we’re looking at this situation all wrong. Maybe Kobe is trying to teach these students a valuable lesson.
The key is in his message alongside the retweet — “Hope you have an A in this class.” For Kobe, the final is not just a hard test, but an opportunity to improve a grade (and by extension the self). It’s all part of the Mamba Mentality — the idea that challenges must be met head on and fulfilled as well as the individual can. A final is not something to run from. True Kobe fans would welcome the final as a chance to prove themselves.
Sure, Kobe will retweet you. But he’ll teach you a lesson along the way. Long after the grade has been written on the report card of life, this missed opportunity will live on in each student’s musecage, just waiting to be unlocked.
Alternately, perhaps the teacher told the class that they would all get perfect scores on the final, too. Then Kobe’s lesson will be forgotten, because it’s about to be summer.
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