Kobe Bryant Introduces First Annual Mamba Cup Tournament Series - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise magazine Fall 2019 issue

Former NBA player Kobe Bryant has announced that he has started the Mamba Cup Tournament Series, according to Slam.

As announced on the Mamba Cup website, ‘The Black Mamba himself, Kobe Bryant, has long wanted to develop a league concept for high-level youth basketball teams in Grades 2-8. Thus, the Mamba Cup Tournament Series has been designed to capture the benefits of league play while still honoring the tournament culture established by those who have built youth basketball to where it is today.”

Bryant has been using the moniker Black Mamba, a nickname he gave himself as a professional alter ego to help him cope with the struggles in his personal life in 2003 and 2004, according to an article written last year on NBC Sports. The Black Mamba is a venomous snake from Africa. Bryant got the idea after seeing the movie Kill Bill, whose main character goes by the nickname.

The Mamba Sports Academy stated on its Twitter account, “Allow us to introduce the First Annual Mamba Cup. The Cup, a tourney for 2nd through 8th graders, will feature Team Mamba. For more… peep the link http://bit.ly/Mamba-CUP.”

The first annual Mamba Cup will showcase a series of 11 tournaments beginning in September and ending in March. Bryant will attend the Championship Tournament on the weekend of March 21–22. Open Gym Premier/Grassroots 365 and Mamba Sports Events are hosting the tournament events at select venues in the Greater Los Angeles area including Mamba Sports Academy, American Sports Center, and Ladera Sports Center.

Bryant has been embroiled in a trademark showdown with Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals since 2017 over the use of the Black Mamba name, according to Yahoo. Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals filed to trademark the name “Black Mamba HYPERRUSH” in 2015, to sell a line of ephedra-based diet pills. Bryant filed his trademark request the following year, saying he fears the use of Black Mamba by Hi-Tech would cause confusion with consumers.