Kobe Bryant's Family Reportedly Files for 'Mamba and Mambacita' Trademark

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMarch 17, 2021

Former Los Angeles Laker Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna Bryant attend an NBA basketball game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Michael Owen Baker)
Michael Owen Baker/Associated Press

The family of Kobe and Gianna Bryant filed a trademark for the phrase "Mamba and Mambacita" with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, according to TMZ Sports.

The family's representatives indicated the trademark would be used on clothing and apparel.

Kobe, who became synonymous with the "Black Mamba" moniker, filed a trademark for "Mambacita" a month before the helicopter crash that killed him, his daughter and seven others on Jan. 26, 2020, in Calabasas, California.

In 2014, the New Yorker's Ben McGrath explained the origins of the nickname, which was adopted from the Kill Bill films:

"The adoption of an alter ego was a way of coping, Bryant now admits, with the fallout from his arrest for sexual assault, in a Colorado hotel room, in the summer of 2003. The charges were later dismissed, and a civil settlement was reached with the alleged victim, but Bryant struggled with the perception that he was damaged goods. 'After the Colorado incident, I had every major sponsor drop me, except for Nike,' he told me. 'So I'm sitting there thinking, What am I going to do now? My vision was to build a brand and do all these things. ... The name just evokes such a negative emotion. I said, "If I create this alter ego, so now when I play this is what's coming out of your mouth, it separates the personal stuff, right?" You're not watching David Banner—you're watching the Hulk.'"

The new nickname immediately stuck and became a big part of his identity.

And as Bryant began influencing younger generations, the "Mamba" branding only grew. Seattle Storm star Jewell Loyd, who worked out with the Los Angeles Lakers legend, is the "Gold Mamba," while players have sought to display the "Mamba Mentality" on the court.

Naturally, Gianna Bryant became known as the "Mambacita" as she embarked on a basketball career of her own.

Bryant announced plans in December 2018 to open the Mamba Sports Academy, in part to help guide the development of young athletes across multiple sports. In May 2020, the organization dropped "Mamba" from its name in the wake of Bryant's death "out of respect."