The “Mamba Sports Academy” has decided to remove the “Mamba” part in its title in “respect” of Kobe Bryant’s “legacy.”
“Today, 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,” Sports Academy CEO Chad Faulkner shared in a statement to TMZ in a piece published Tuesday. (RELATED: ESPN Releases Emotional Video Honoring Kobe Bryant After His Tragic Death)
— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpearsESPN) May 12, 2020
“Our beliefs and thoughts are Kobe is one of one,” he added during his appearance on ESPN’s “Undefeated. “Mamba’ is one of one.” (RELATED: NBA Legend Kobe Bryant Dies In Helicopter Crash)
Faulkner noted “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,” the CEO concluded. “We will carry on much of those learnings that we have in a respectful way.”
It all comes after the NBA legend partnered up with the academy, a youth sports training business, in 2018 — leading to the name change. The name Mamba became part of a nickname he gave himself, “the Black Mamba” during his playing days.
As previously reported, Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven other people were killed in a fatal helicopter crash in January on their way to the academy for a weekend basketball tournament.