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Kobe Bryant’s sports academy removing ‘Mamba’ from its name

The Mamba Sports Academy, an athletic training venture cofounded by Kobe Bryant, has announced it will retire “Mamba” from its name out of respect for the late NBA icon.

Launched in 2018 by Bryant and Sports Academy CEO Chad Faulkner, it will be now known as The Sports Academy. Faulkner told The Undefeated on Tuesday that the rebrand will also feature a new website and logo.

The Mamba moniker of course became synonymous with Bryant over the years thanks to his adoption of the nickname, “The Black Mamba.”

“Our beliefs and thoughts are Kobe is one of one. ‘Mamba’ is one of one,” Faulkner told The Undefeated, as shared by Marc J. Spears of ESPN. “And with that as we carry on as The Sports Academy, it’s more appropriate to put Kobe in another Hall of Fame, if you will, and to really respect a legacy that is really unrivaled, frankly, and let that live on its own. We will continue to do the work we do.

“We were fortunate to learn from Kobe. We will carry on much of those learnings that we have in a respectful way.”

The Sports Academy boats two California locations, one in Thousand Oaks and the other in Redondo Beach. Faulkner told The Undefeated he would be “all for” some kind of memorial in honor of Kobe at both locations, so long as the Bryant family approved of such a tribute.

Bryant, along with eight others including daughter Gianna, tragically perished in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif., on Jan. 26.