Why did Kobe Bryant name himself Black Mamba? Exploring late Lakers’ legends alter ego

His presence, shrewdness on the court, and spectacular performances will no longer please his fans as the legendary basketball player is no more among us. However, Kobe Bryant is an unforgettable name in the history of the NBA and will remain so for many decades in the future.

Kobe used to play for the Los Angeles Lakers and spend almost 20 seasons playing with the team wearing the yellow jersey. The athlete named himself Black Mamba at one point during his career.

Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant, the “Black Mamba.”

So, let’s explore some unheard tales regarding why the basketball star chose such a name to define him.

Why did Kobe Bryant name himself Black Mamba?

Kobe was literally a blessing for the Lakers who led the team toward unprecedented victories. With the team, the NBA star ensured five times NBA Championships, two times final MVP, and more to name a few.

When the athlete was floating on cloud nine with his success, a terrible incident occurred that tore apart his life both professionally and personally. In 2003, Kobe Bryant was charged with sexual assault based on a complaint from a 19-year-old woman in Colorado.

Later, the charges were dismissed on lack of strong evidence from the victim. So, the court paved the way for a civil settlement between the victim and the culprit. The charges against him were dropped but the backlash tarnished his professional career resulting in the loss of millions of endorsement deals.


When asked about the charges, Kobe mentions whatever happened with the lady was consensual and during interviews, the basketball star expressed how devastated he felt at that time when he was receiving hatred from his fan, and loved ones and his family was on the verge of collapse.

The man broke down completely and couldn’t gather the courage to move forward from the trauma of the incident. So, he felt the need for a separate identity that will keep his personal and professional entities away from each other.

Where did Black Mamba originate from?

The Lakers player was watching Quentin Tarantino’s movie “Kill Bill,” some time afterward the incident. In the 2003 movie, a ferocious assassin used the code name Black Mamba to kill his enemies.

Kobe Bryant
Kill Bill: Volume 1 (2003).

Kobe got inspiration from the name and decided to use it to create his new persona as a professional basketball player. And that’s how the name became a part of his life.

What did you make of Kobe’s nickname story? What other names would you have been suited for the Lakers legend? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.

Golenur Aktar

323 articles

Golenur Aktar is a writer and made her debut in the 'Pen & Paper' industry holding the hands of Sportszion. She ignited her writing craze from Biography articles and now writes about NFL.


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