Kobe Bryant created an alter-ego as a way to separate his personal and professional lives


Kobe Bryant


Kobe Bryant's nickname is "The Black Mamba," a name he gave himself. But for Bryant, the moniker is more than a nickname. It is an alter-ego he created to get through the darkest part of his life.

In his auto-documentary "Muse," Bryant reveals that he created The Black Mamba as a way to deal with the struggles he was going through off the court in 2003 and 2004.

"I went from a person who was at the top of his game, had everything coming, to a year later, having absolutely no idea where life is going or if you are even going to be a part of life as we all know it," Bryant said in the documentary.

In 2003, Bryant was charged with sexually assaulting a 19-year-old woman in Colorado. While Bryant does not mention the case directly, he does spend a good deal of time in the documentary talking about how close his family came to breaking up.

"I hear everything the crowd is saying. I hear it." Bryant says following a clip during which Boston Celtics fans can be heard chanting "Kobe sucks!" "So, it's like this place where it was my refuge is now being bombarded with all kinds of things they would say."


"I had to separate myself," Kobe explains. "It felt like there were so many things coming at once. It was just becoming very, very confusing. I had to organize things. So I created The Black Mamba."

Bryant went on to explain that "Kobe" was tasked with dealing with all his "personal challenges" and "The Black Mamba" handled business on the court.

Kobe Bryant Muse


Bryant went on to explain that the ferocity had nothing to do with his opponents and was more about the "battle that was going on within [himself]" and that the opponents were just in the way "and may get demolished in the process."

In 2011, Bryant and Nike created an extended commercial in which he discusses creating an action movie with director Robert Rodriguez based on the character The Black Mamba. Here is that video.