The Atlanta Hawks and Zoo Atlanta have teamed up to honor Kobe Bryant in a special way. The zoo is naming their black mamba snake after him.
Friday, Los Angels Lakers star Kobe Bryant, nicknamed the "Black Mamba," will play his final regular season game in Atlanta. The Hawks said they wanted to honor Bryant by also making a donation to the zoo.
According to a joint press release:
"Kobe Bryant's career accomplishments speak for themselves," said Hawks and Philips Arena CEO Steve Koonin. "He has set a standard with his incredible work ethic, tremendous will and competitive spirit. We're happy to be partnering with Zoo Atlanta to recognize the impact Kobe has made on the NBA and its popularity worldwide."
"Zoo Atlanta is thrilled to be part of this very special tribute. Mr. Bryant is a legend on the court, and the black mamba is a legend in the wild," said Raymond B. King, President and CEO of Zoo Atlanta. "We're proud to partner with our home team, the Atlanta Hawks, on recognizing Mr. Bryant's contributions to sports with the naming of this animal, and we hope everyone will visit Scaly Slimy Spectacular, our newest destination at Zoo Atlanta, to see the new namesake in person."
Bryant, the third-leading scorer in NBA history, is a five-time NBA champion and 17-time All-Star.
Zoo Atlanta's black mamba lives in their brand new state-of-the-art Scaly Slimy Spectacular: The Amphibian and Reptile Experience along with more than 70 other reptile and amphibian species.