Dwyane Wade beat the buzzer Wednesday night in the Miami Heat’s 126-125 home victory over the Golden State Warriors. He immediately thanked former Laker great Kobe Bryant, crediting “Mamba Mentality” for the game-winner.
“I wonder when Kobe hit that game-winner on me in L.A. when he hit it off the top,” Wade said after the game. “When he hit it off the glass at the top of the key, I asked ‘How is that possible?’ Thank you for showing me the way. Thank you for the Mamba Mentality.”
Wade referred to Bryant’s game-winner versus the Heat in 2009. With 3.2 seconds left and trailing by 2, Bryant put up a shot off one foot while floating to his left, sinking it to give the Lakers an improbable 108-107 win.
The Heat trailed the Warriors by 2 points in the final seconds at American Airlines Arena. Wade was forced to dish it to Dion Waiters after a failed drive to the rim.
Waiters passed it right back to Wade at the top of the key with less than 3 seconds to go. The 17-year veteran had to recover the ball after a tip and released it just before the horn sounded.
The heave banked in to secure the 1-point win for the hosts.
In 26 minutes, Wade tallied 25 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists. He is averaging 14.1 points a game in his final NBA season.
The Heat broke a 3-game skid, beating the West’s best two days after losing to the last-place Phoenix Suns. Miami boosted its record to 27-33, and now sit just a half-game out of the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference standings.
With the loss, the Warriors fell to 43-18. They lead the Denver Nuggets by just a half-game in the West.
The “Mamba Mentality” comes from Bryant’s nickname “The Black Mamba.” In his auto-documentary “Muse,” Bryant revealed that he created the moniker as a way to deal with the struggles he was going through off the court in the mid-2000s.
“I went from a person who was at the top of his game, had everything coming, to a year later, having absolutely no idea where life is going or if you are even going to be a part of life as we all know it,” Bryant said to Business Insider in March 2015.
This was during the timeframe that Bryant was charged with sexually assaulting a 19-year old hotel clerk in Colorado. The case was dropped after Bryant’s accuser refused to testify, with Bryant later settling a civil lawsuit for an undisclosed amount.