Hawks, Zoo Atlanta honor Kobe by renaming zoo's actual black mamba

Published Dec. 3, 2015 1:20 p.m. EST

With Kobe Bryant's retirement tour in full swing after his announcement this past weekend, teams are going to be lining up to come up with the perfect gift for the Los Angeles Lakers superstar. Earlier this week, the Philadelphia 76ers went with a solid, traditional choice: A framed version of Bryant's high school jersey with his current NBA number.

That was definitely cool. But from this point forward, the Atlanta Hawks and Zoo Atlanta have set the bar for presents for the future Hall of Famer. On Thursday, both organizations announced that the zoo is naming its black mamba after Kobe:

Hawks CEO Steve Koonin issued a statement on the naming (via Atlanta Journal-Constitution):

The Hawks also announced that they would play a tribute video for Bryant when the Lakers visit Atlanta on Friday.


“Kobe Bryant’s career accomplishments speak for themselves,” said Hawks CEO Steve Koonin in a statement. “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.”