When winning isn’t always sunshine and rainbows

What mentality do winners have?


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Basketball player standing holding basketball on an indoor floodlit basketball court full of spectators.

Brandon Reyes, Writer

There are two types of winners in this world. Those who like to win because they want to be a better person for themselves. They are the type of person who want to shoot for the stars. These people are motivated by the feeling and the chase of success. Then there are those who have a “Toxic Winner mindset”. You’re probably thinking, “well if their mindset is toxic, surely they are not a good winner or a good person?” but that is not what it means to have this type of mindset. 

A “Toxic Winner Mindset” is when you don’t have the idea of reaching for the stars, your mind is focused on being better than everyone else. Primarily on those who doubted you. No one highlights this mindset better than the late Kobe Bryant. Jay Williams, a former Chicago Bulls point guard, spoke out about an experience he had with Kobe. The Bulls were set to play the Los Angeles Lakers and as a result Jay Williams thought he should practice a few hours prior to the game. He arrived at the Staples Center 4 hours prior to the game to hit a few shots and to his surprise, Kobe was already putting in the work. By the time Williams finished his workout (which lasted 90 minutes) Kobe was still shooting. All this paid off as by the end of the game Kobe dropped 40 points on the Bulls. Williams was so impressed he had to ask Kobe what kept him in the gym for so long. Kobe’s response? “I saw you come in, I want you to know however hard you work, I will work harder.” 

This perfectly highlights this mentality as Kobe didn’t say he worked hard to win or because he was bored, he worked hard to prove he’ll do anything to be better than those around him. There are many cases where Kobe turned people into his enemy in order to fuel him with anger and to motivate almost as if he was saying, “I am going to be better because you think I can’t.” People with this mindset are not bad people, they are simply addicted to being better than you.