San Diego Padres star Manny Machado is having an MVP-caliber season as he looks to get his team into the playoffs.
Machado always plays with a bit of a chip on his shoulder and with the utmost effort every single time he steps on the diamond, no matter the circumstances. Where exactly did he get that from? none other than Los Angeles Lakers legend Koby Bryant, who was an idol to Manny Machado growing up.
“He was just a gamer. He knew he was the best one on the court, and he had that presence when he walked around the court every single night. As an athlete, you watch and look and admire and kind of want to be that guy. You ask yourself, ‘Why is he like that? Why is he doing that?’ It’s always the ‘why.’ (Kobe) could be a tough guy, but at the end of the day he was going to show his teammates a lot of love. Everybody in a locker room is a family. So the attitude has to be, ‘I want to push you so you can push me. If you’re not better, I’m not going to be better.”
Kobe was always one to uplift his teammates and try to make them better. Manny Machado tries to do the exact same. After all, he is one of the clubhouse leaders for the Padres in his 10th year in the big leagues.
Machado is hitting .293 with 18 home runs and 57 RBI in 2022, serving as one of San Diego’s best hitters in the absence of Fernando Tatis Jr. They’ve also been heavily linked to a trade for Washington Nationals phenom Juan Soto ahead of Tuesday’s deadline.
Whether the Padres make a postseason run or not, Manny Machado will always have that Mamba Mentality. As you can see, it truly doesn’t matter what sport it is because Kobe made his impact felt across the world.