The company formerly known as the Mamba Sports Academy, will remove the word Mamba and simply go by The Sports Academy, they say, to honor Kobe Bryant’s memory.
Kobe Bryant partnered with The Sports Academy in 2018, adding his famous moniker to the youth sports training company’s title.
However, Sports Academy CEO Chad Faulkner says the company will remove Bryant’s moniker in what he says will be a tribute to the late NBA superstar.
“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,” Faulkner said in a statement via TMZ Sports.
Faulkner told ESPN’s The Undefeated, “Our beliefs and thoughts are Kobe is one of one. ‘Mamba’ is one of one.”
Faulkner’s statement continued, “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 decision seems odd. From a business perspective, leaving Mamba in the company title would seem like a sure way to attract more young athletes.
In any event, as TMZ Sports reports, the change has already taken place.
“The Sports Academy has already changed its website to reflect its new name — and says it will make changes to signage at its buildings in Thousand Oaks and Redondo Beach.”
Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna were killed along with seven others, when the helicopter they were riding in slammed into a mountain in Calabasas, California, in January.
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn