Paying Homage to Mamba

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Mamba Sports Academy Alters Name in Honour of the Late Kobe Bryant

Months after the passing of the late Kobe Bryant, his sporting academy has chosen to remove “Mamba” from its name out of respect for the Los Angeles Lakers legend.

“Our beliefs and thoughts are Kobe is one of one. ‘Mamba’ is one of one,” Sports Academy CEO and Bryant’s former business partner, Chad Faulkner told The Undefeated. “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 academy initially launched in 2018 as an athletic training facility and was one of the many business ventures Bryant took part in following a successful playing career.

There are currently two locations in California, both of which are closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. One is located in Thousand Oaks and a second is in Redondo Beach. Faulkner said he would be “all in” on building a memorial for Bryant if his family becomes open to the idea.

“That will really end up being up to the desires of the family and to the respect of the family,” Faulkner said. “For us, we leave that up to the future. This is such a critical time for the family to keep working through the grieving process and everything they’re working for. We are going to play really conservative from that approach. We are all for it. … But it’s really not necessarily the right thing for us to do proactively.”

The five-time NBA champion passed away in a tragic helicopter accident earlier this year.

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