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With less than a minute remaining and the score tied at 89, Kyrie Irving tried to get some space between himself and his defender Steph Curry by using a stutter step before gathering and taking a fadeaway shot from beyond the arc. Unless you have been living under a rock for the last 24 hours, you know how this story unfolds.
It was a tough shot, in a hostile environment, under immense amounts of pressure, and during a pivotal (and possibly deciding) part of a game. So, how was Irving able to push all that to the side and come through big in a moment like that? "All I was thinking in the back of my mind was Mamba mentality," Irving told ESPN. "Just Mamba mentality. That's all I was thinking."
The "Mamba mentality" that Irving is referring to is the mindset of his favorite player Kobe Bryant, who was known to take the ball in the toughest moments and rise to the occasion. It's a state of mind that not every NBA player is built for. Clearly, Kyrie has been taking notes and incorporating the Kobe System into his day-to-day life. Last night, it paid off.
Somewhere, Bryant saw Kyrie take the game into his own hands, use the Kobe System's teachings to tap into his own inner Mamba and knock down the game-winning basket. Then, the Black Mamba simply stated...
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