One of the main reasons the legacy of Los Angeles Lakers legends Kobe Bryant and LeBron James are so great is because the things that they embodied most are not limited to basketball but can be applied in any walk of life. Even those who might not have watched them play can still be inspired and that is the case with Seattle Mariners outfielder Julio Rodriguez.
The center fielder is one of the rising young stars in baseball, winning AL Rookie of the Year last season and being named an All-Star in both of his seasons in the big leagues. He currently leads the AL in hits for a Mariners team fighting for a playoff spot and even though he is only 22 years old and was born after Kobe won his first NBA Championship, he still looks up to the Lakers stars.
Rodriguez was the latest guest on the On Base with Mookie Betts podcast and the Dodgers star got Rodriguez to open up about his love for basketball. Rodriguez admitted that he is a huge fan of current James, but after researching Kobe, he began looking up to the iconic superstar:
“I’m a big LeBron James guy. But if we’re going mentality and things like that I feel like the things that I read and seen about Kobe Bryant… I mean the DR (Dominican Republic), you weren’t able to get access so easily to it so I would definitely do a little bit of research and learn about him. I always see stuff popping up on my feed and I feel like the impact he had all across sports, all across different mentalities for people. I feel like anybody that can achieve that is definitely somebody I can look up to.”
The Mamba Mentality is something that works for anyone if they are willing to apply themselves and Rodriguez has undoubtedly done that. Because he is so young and where he grew up, Rodriguez wasn’t able to really watch much of Kobe in real-time. But these days, with so many videos, podcasts and stories readily available, Rodriguez was able to learn a lot about the Lakers legend and appreciate what he was all about.
Much like Bryant and James, Rodriguez is a young phenom who is quickly establishing himself as one of the best players in his sport. His ability to lock in and embrace that Mamba Mentality could allow him to leave a legacy in baseball in the way that either Lakers great has done in the NBA.
Lakers’ LeBron James putting in work on his jumper prior to training camp
While Rodriguez is just at the beginning of what is looking like an outstanding career, James is nearing the end. But he is not done yet and is putting in the necessary work with Lakers training camp not too far away.
A recent video showed LeBron working on his jumper and it looked smooth as he knocked down a number of open jumpers, many of the catch-and-shoot variety which could become more prevalent for the Lakers star this season.
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