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Kobe Bryant during a game

Kobe Bryant's Estate Requested "Mamba" Be Removed From Sports Academy's Name

Gettyimages | Ezra Shaw
By Yuriy Andriyashchuk

It's been almost four months since the world lost Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, and seven others on board a helicopter as they were on their way to a basketball game at the Mamba Sports Academy. Two of Gianna's teammates were on board as they were set to play as Kobe would've been the head coach as well. Vanessa, the wife and mother of Kobe and Gianna, recently celebrated Gigi's birthday on May 1. April 18 was also the 19-year-anniversary of their marriage.

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Gettyimages | Allen Berezovsky

The Mamba Sports Academy has recently decided to remove the Mamba word from their name as well. They are now revealing that this was a move agreed upon with Bryant's estate.

"Like tens of millions of fans around the globe, Sports Academy’s world drastically changed on January 26, 2020," The Sports Academy said in a statement. "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. I

Kobe Bryant facing off against Michael Jordan in an iconic matchup in 1996
Gettyimages | VINCENT LAFORET

This also ended up being addressed after fans didn't approve of the Mamba word being removed. Many felt that his nickname should've continued to have been honored.

"In doing so, Sports Academy will carry on the vision it curated during that special partnership," added the Academy. "The changing of the name from Mamba Sports Academy to Sports Academy, the original name from 2016, is not a decision we came to lightly or on our own. It was a mutual agreement made in accordance with the wishes of his estate. Thank you for respecting that decision in these turbulent times."

Kobe Bryant with his family at his jersey retirement ceremony at the STAPLES Center in December 2016
Gettyimages | Maxx Wolfson

Bryant initially added the Mamba named to the Academy back in 2018. Many thought this was fitting considering that Bryant brings the best out of people and this would be the case at the Academy with his involvement and nickname tied to it.

"Sports Academy’s mission remains unchanged. Sports Academy is still here to transform the way each of us approach human performance. Sports Academy is still here to support current professionals and guide the next generation of athletes. Sports Academy is still here to provide an integrated and full-circle approach to training.

And, above all else, Sports Academy is still here for you."

Kobe Bryant showing love to his daughter Gianna while court side at an NBA game.
Gettyimages | Allen Berezovsky

This also comes after a relative for the pilot of the helicopter, Ara George Zobayan, sadly blamed the crash on everyone else on board, per TMZ.

"Any injuries or damages to plaintiffs and/or their decedent were directly caused in full or in part by the negligence or fault of plaintiffs and/or their decedent, including their knowing and voluntary encounter with the risks involved, and that this negligence was a substantial factor in causing their purported damages, for which this answering defendant bears no responsibility."

Vanessa Bryant originally filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Island Express, the company who owned the helicopter. According to PEOPLE, they've since responded by agreeing with the relative of the pilot by saying "had actual knowledge of all of the circumstances, particular dangers, and an appreciation of the risks involved and the magnitude thereof"

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