10 Greatest Nicknames in Lakers History

#10 – The Black Mamba

You thought we could have a Top 10 Lakers list and NOT include The Mamba? Child please.

Kobe Bryant managed to accomplish the rare feat of giving yourself a nickname that actually sticks. When I first heard that members of Kobe’s “inner circle” called him “The Black Mamba”, I almost fell out of my chair laughing. This had to be a joke right?

No one really referred to another human being as “Mamba”, did they? Am I supposed to  believe that Kobe and his crew were sitting around playing X-Box one day when suddenly one of his boys blurted out: “Damn Kobe that was sick! (wait for it) Sick like a Black Mamba!”

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Honestly, how many of us had to Google the term Black Mamba to realize exactly what the hell Kobe was talking about? At the time, I didn’t think anyone not named Quentin Tarantino had actually ever seen one. It gets even funnier when you hear Kobe describe it: “’The Mamba can strike with 99 percent accuracy at maximum speed, in rapid succession. That’s the kind of basketball precision I want to have. Not being able to train the last two summers, I was in a gunfight with a rusty butter knife. I did my share of killing, but I was just fighting to survive.” Not only was this one of the most incredible moments of unintentional comedy in the last decade, but the irony behind the nickname is truly extraordinary. You’d think his handlers might have advised him against it, but with a trial for sexual assault looming Kobe Bryant’s PR team did nothing to keep this quiet.

I’m no PR expert, but aren’t these people paid to make sure their clients currently awaiting trial for sex crimes don’t start publicly comparing themselves to deadly serpents? Isn’t that career suicide? That would be like Tiger Woods changing his name to I.M.A. Cheetah and hoping everything will just blow over. All this talk makes me wonder why I don’t own a Black Mamba T-Shirt. I’m going on eBay right now.

Next: So Fine with Number 9

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