There used to be only one black mamba named Kobe in the world. And soon, there will be two.
In one of the more bizarre tributes to ta retiring athlete, the Atlanta Hawks and Atlanta's zoo (Zoo Atlanta) have decided to team up and name the zoo's black mamba ("Black Mamba" being one of Kobe's more infamous nicknames) after the man himself. The Hawks posted information on their website detailing the event, where they will also make a donation to the zoo in honor of Bryant.
According to the New Yorker, Bryant adopted the nickname "Black Mamba" in 2003 amidst allegations against him pertaining to sexual assault—almost as a rebranding tool, and partially as a way to cope with the ordeal. He said that he got the idea for the name from Kill Bill; after researching the quick and deadly snake, he felt that it was a fitting moniker.
The Hawks' snake-naming ceremony for Kobe is by no means their first stab at some, err, out-of-the-box PR work. In September, they hired three people named Ashley Madison to promote season ticket sales in a fairly tone-deaf ad campaign. The Hawks are just a weird-ass team like that, it seems.