The Mamba Sports Academy, which was co-founded by the late Kobe Bryant, has made a decision to retire “Mamba” from its name.
In a statement posted to Twitter on Tuesday, the basketball training facility in Thousand Oaks announced it would change its name back to “The Sports Academy,” which was its former name before the Los Angeles Lakers legend partnered with the company.
"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," the academy said. “In doing so, Sports Academy will carry on the vision it curated during that special partnership.”https://twitter.com/sportsxacademy/status/1260242399789490177?s=20
Not everyone was pleased with the academy’s choice to remove Mamba, a reference to Bryant’s “Black Mamba” nickname he gave himself throughout his stellar NBA career.
Veteran guard Jamal Crawford and friend of the Lakers great felt the name change was unnecessary.
--Maybe I'm missing something here, but would think keeping his name on there would show the most respect.. https://t.co/6gexihuJFf— 🏁 Jamal Crawford (@JCrossover) May 12, 2020
O’Shea Jackson, son of rapper Ice Cube, expressed his disappointment in a post.
I’m sorry. I can’t support this.— Stone Cold Shea Jackson (@OsheaJacksonJr) May 12, 2020
Trail Blazer Mario Hezonja simply shared the name change in a post of his own on Twitter.
Others felt the name “Mamba” should stay to honor him.
The Sports Academy is dropping “Mamba” from its name as a way to honor Kobe Bryant.— Meg (@_meganmayhem) May 12, 2020
I don’t understand.
Everyone is blasting The Sports Academy for dropping "Mamba" but I could be they can't afford the trademark or that Kobe's family does not want them to use it. Best to relax and not judge.— Laker Central 🎙🎧🎥📝 (@LakerCentral365) May 12, 2020
"Kobe named it Mamba Sports Academy, I'ma call it Mamba Sports Academy." pic.twitter.com/FaKeVhghdQ— Don't Forget the Esq. 😎 (@Acesailant_06) May 12, 2020
They taking "Mamba" out of Mamba Sports Academy to "honor" Kobe.. Yeah ok.. Definitely more to it. Kobe was the reason pro's went there to train pic.twitter.com/Czxd8wJuBL— #BlackLivesMatter (@jslv94) May 12, 2020
The academy shared another statement hours later saying the decision to change the name is “not a decision we came to lightly on our own.”https://twitter.com/sportsxacademy/status/1260280427941519360?s=20
Do you think the academy made the right decision?
Over his 20-year-career, Kobe exemplified the “Mamba” assassin-like mentality and proved he could score from just about anywhere on the court. He was a five-time NBA champion and 18-time All-Star. Both his No. 8 and No. 24 jerseys were retired by the Lakers.
In April, Kobe was named to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.