‘Black Mamba’: Why did Kobe Bryant create this alter-ego of himself?

NBA legend Kobe Bryant was one of the most gifted sportsmen on the planet. His death on Sunday is being mourned by everyone across the globe. Upon hearing this grave news, Twitter flooded with prayers for him and his 13-year-old daughter, who was also among the deceased.

Many people paid tribute to Kobe by citing his alter-ego name, ‘Black Mamba’. While many people know that he had nicknamed himself ‘Black Mamba’, not many people know that he gave himself this name during one of the darkest times of his life.

In his 2015 documentary, 'Muse', Kobe revealed the origin of ‘Black Mamba’. In his documentary, he said, “I went from a person who was at the top of his game, had everything coming, to a year later, having absolutely no idea where life is going or if you are even going to be a part of life as we all know it.”

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Although he didn’t reveal what he was talking about, it is presumed that he was talking about the charges of sexual assault which were levelled at him back in 2003 at Colorado by a 19-year-old woman. He hints that the case shattered his family and changed the perception of his fans on him.

According to Mirror, Kobe disclosed that it was at that time that he coined the name ‘Black Mamba’, in order to separate his personal and professional life. Kobe said that he got the idea of this nickname through Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Kill Bill’ where ‘Black Mamba’ is described as a deadly assassin known for her aggressiveness and agility.

Kobe added, “I had to separate myself. It felt like there were so many things coming at once. It was just very, very confusing. I had to organise things. So I created The Black Mamba.”

In 2011, Kobe Bryant and Nike went on to create a commercial wherein Kobe discusses an action movie based on the character of ‘Black Mamba’.

This decision of his proved fruitful, as it changed his fortunes and made him a legend in his own right as he went on to win five National Basketball Association (NBA) championships in his 20-year-long career while playing for Los Angeles Lakers. He announced his retirement from basketball in 2016.

Also Read: Bryant announces retirement with ‘Basketball’ poem