In this post, you will find all the famous nicknames for Kobe Bryant and the origins of some of these nicknames.
It’s impossible to discuss basketball without bringing up one of its greatest icons, Kobe Bean Bryant. Bryant, born in Philadelphia on August 23, 1978, had an illustrious sporting career in his two decades of playing basketball until his unfortunate demise on January 26, 2020.
Over the course of his playing career, Bryant won five NBA championships, was an 18-time All-Star, a 15-time member of the All-NBA Team, a 12-time member of the All-Defensive Team, and the 2008 NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP), and a two-time NBA Finals MVP.
Did you know that Bryant was named after the Japanese steak “Kobe”? Now that you know, let’s look at Kobe Bryant’s most popular nicknames.
Table of Contents
Most Popular Kobe Bryant Nicknames
Here are the most famous Kobe Bryant nicknames:
1. Black Mamba
In 2003, on the back of an unprecedented 3-peat with the Los Angeles Lakers, Bryant was accused of sexual assault by a 19-year-old female employee of a hotel in Colorado. The case was highly publicized and brought bad press on Bryant and his reputation. As a result, he decided to reinvent himself and create an alter ego, “Black Mamba,” which was inspired by the code name of an assassin in the Quentin Tarantino classic, “Kill Bill.” In a 2015 interview with host Ahmad Rashad, Bryant would reference the name: “When I step on that court, I become that. I am that killer snake. I’m stone cold man.”
2. The Eighth Man
Kobe had this nickname before he became a professional basketball player. It was one he created for himself as his rap name on the streets of Philadelphia. ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne revealed some background on the nickname.
“They’d find battles on South Street, in the Gallery (an underground mall), at Temple University, or in this barbershop on N. 54th and Wynnefield Avenue. Kobe’s rap name was “The Eighth Man.”
“I was a battle MC. I hunted every top MC in the city and battled them.”
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out the origin of this moniker which are his initials combined with his jersey number. An NFT based on this moniker has been launched posthumously.
Following a game against the Atlanta Hawks where Bryant appeared to reverse time and make an unbelievable dunk, he referred to himself as the “Vino,” a name that had long been on fans’ lips. As he put it, “The vino,” the Italian word for wine and a tribute to his upbringing in Italy, “is out of the barrel.”
5. Little Flying Warrior
The origin of the nickname “Little Flying Warrior” appears to have come from China, where Bryant had a lot of fans. This was confirmed in a tweet by historian Nick Kapur, who wrote: “Kobe Bryant – 蜗壳 ‘Snail Shell.’ Kobe is ‘Snail Shell’ because it rhymes with ‘My [guy] Kobe.’ When he was young, they called him 小飞侠 or ‘Peter Pan’ (literally ‘Little Flying Warrior’), and in the end, he became 唠嗑 (‘Chatterbox, Gossip’), which rhymes with ‘Old Kobe.’”
6. The 8th Wonder of the World
In the media, Bryant has been referred to by the moniker “The 8th wonder of the world.” Anyone who watched Kobe play at the peak of his powers would have no qualms; he was that good. The nickname was derived from his magnificent accomplishments in basketball and because he wore the number 8 for his team.
7. Kobe Wan Kenobi
Star Wars fans would have no problem tracing the moniker “Kobe Wan Kenobi.” The name is based on Obi-Wan Kenobi, a fictional character who is a Jedi Master in the Star Wars franchise. Kobe Wan Kenobi polled the highest in an ESPN poll, with 35 percent of fans choosing it as their favorite Bryant nickname.
Shaquille O’Neal, a one-time teammate of Bryant, is reputed to be the originator of the moniker “Showboat. Given Bryant’s flair for the outrageous, there’s a pretty good reason to think that this may have inspired O’Neal’s nickname for Bryant. Interestingly, this nickname was bestowed on Bryant long before he became the all-star, Hall of Fame-level player.
Other Kobe Bryant nicknames include:
9. The Golden Child
11. King Kobe
13. Italian Stallion
14. The Cobra
15. Kobe Jolly Green Bryant
16. Kobe All That You Can Be Bryant
17. Kobe Stake Through the Heart Bryant
18. Must See
19. The Great One
20. The Prophecy
21. The Kloser
22. Mr. 81
23. Lord of the Rings
24. The Dagger
There you have it. Have we left out any Kobe Bryant nicknames? Let us know in the comments below.
Read More: 50+ Most Famous NBA Nicknames of All Time