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Nike celebrates Kobe Bryant's birthday with a moving tribute

A short ad film voiced by rapper Kendrick Lamar extols the late American basketball superstar, and his 'Mamba' mentality.

On Sunday (August 23), Kobe Bryant would have turned 42. But, the American basketball legend isn't here to celebrate it. He and one of his four daughters, Gianna, passed away, along with seven others, in a helicopter crash in Los Angeles back in January. To celebrate him and his famed 'Mamba' mentality, Nike has released a short ad film, titled 'Better'.

Narrated by rapper Kendrick Lamar, the minute-and-a-half film "celebrates the universal relevance of progress and highlights Kobe’s prolific desire for improvement", said Nike on its website.

Bryant was famed for his incredible work ethic and his 'Mamba' mentality. He described this mindset by saying, "It’s to constantly try to be the best version of yourself. It's a constant quest to try to be better today than you were yesterday."

"Better dreamer. Better waker. Better stretcher. Better walker. Better talker... Just be better... Better forever," narrates Lamar, as the ad mirrors the mentality and spirit of Bryant.

Bryant's career is a case study in what a strong work ethic, coupled with the drive to be better, can achieve. In his 20-year basketball career, he won five NBA championships, and is considered one of the greatest players to have ever played the game.

While he isn't with us, he would have agreed to what Nike had written in its post, "Whatever it is that you’re trying to improve — work to be better today than you were yesterday. That’s the 'Mamba' mentality."