As the sports world continues to mourn the loss of Kobe Bryant, his legacy continues to grow.
But one of Bryant’s biggest post-NBA accomplishments is going in a different direction. In 2018, after being established for two years, Bryant partnered with Sports Academy CEO Chad Faulkner to help create a “full-circle facility” dedicated to maximizing human performance. The academy featured so much of Kobe’s influence that it was renamed to the Mamba Sports Academy. But now, out of respect for the family, Faulker is reverting back to its original name.
“Like tens of millions of fans around the globe, Sports Academy’s world drastically changed on Jan. 26, 2020. 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,” reads the company’s statement. “In doing so, Sports Academy will carry on the vision it curated during that special partnership.”
If the name of the academy sounds familiar it’s because that’s where Bryant coached a girls basketball team that included his daughter Gianna who also died in the helicopter crash in California on January 26. The 5x NBA champ also hosted workouts at the Thousand Oaks facility with some of his famous friends like Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Kyrie Irving, and De’Aaron Fox.
According to further reporting from TMZ, removing the Mamba name came at the request of Bryant’s estate, so Sports Academy respectfully obliged.
The Mamba nickname came from Bryant wanting to separate his persona off the court from his professional one and having the mentality to go for whatever you want.
“If you want to be great in a particular area, you have to obsess over it. A lot of people say they want to be great, but they’re not willing to make the sacrifices necessary to achieve greatness. They have other concerns, whether important or not, and they spread themselves out, he explained in his Mamba Mentality autobiography.