Huh? Sports Academy honours Kobe Bryant…by removing “Mamba” from its name

The Mamba Sports Academy, co-owned by the late Kobe Bryant, today said it will remove the basketballer’s nickname, “Mamba” from the institution’s name in his honour.

The late Kobe Bryant with his daughter, Giana, who also died in the helicopter crash.

The California-based academy’s move comes four months after the basketball legend, along with his teen daughter and seven others, died in a helicopter crash.

The Southern California sports facility retired his nickname and rebranded itself nearly four months after the basketball icon’s death in a helicopter crash.

Sports Academy shared this release regarding its renaming today.

In a release today, the facility said it will return to its original name of Sports Academy and retire “Mamba”.

In explaining the decision, a release from the Sports Academy said “with respect for an unparalleled legacy, the Academy will retire the “Mamba” in the Mamba Sports Academy name – to raise it to the rafters, where it belongs.”

The release said the move will “carry on the vision it curated during that special partnership,” adding that its mission remains the same and that the academy will support current professionals and guide the next generation of athletes.

The Los Angeles Lakers honor Kobe Bryant and daughter Gigi by covering the courtside seats they occupied with flowers, Gigi’s #2 Mamba jersey and Kobe’s #24 jersey before the game against the Portland Trail Blazers at Staples Center on January 31, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

The crash which killed Bryant and his fellow passengers is still under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board. The group had been travelling to a basketball tournament at the academy when the helicopter crashed in thick fog near Los Angeles.

Bryant led the Los Angeles Lakers to five NBA titles during his 20 seasons with the franchise.