ESPN Senior Writer
Kobe Inc., the business arm of recently retired Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, has filed to trademark his familiar nickname “Black Mamba.”
The company filed for the trademark May 2, a record with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office shows, with intent to use the nickname on everything from athletic apparel to sneakers.
Neither Bryant, nor Nike, who pays him to endorse its shoes and has used the nickname in marketing, ever has trademarked the term.
Bryant named himself after the venomous snake from Africa after seeing “Kill Bill,” whose main character goes by the nickname.
“I read up on the animal and said, ‘Wow, this is pretty awesome,'” Bryant told the New Yorker in 2014. “This is the perfect description of how I would want my game to be.”
“What I am when I step on that court, I become that, I am that killer snake,” he told Ahmad Rashad last year.
There are currently 13 registered trademarks for “Black Mamba,” including boxer Roger Mayweather, who is Floyd’s uncle.
Black Mamba is the 11th trademark filing for Kobe Inc. Other phrases that the company has filed for include “HeroVillain,” “Create Forever,” “Dream Epic” and “Friends Hang Sometimes, Banners Hang Forever.”