Kobe Bryant receives Black Mamba tribute from Atlanta Hawks

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Kobe Bryant has been inundated with tributes and well wishes since announcing that the 2015-16 NBA season will be his last before retirement.

Few of the tributes, though, can match the one unveiled today by the Atlanta Hawks and Zoo Atlanta.


As reported by ESPN, the two organizations within the Georgia city have teamed up to create a rather fitting salute to the man known as the Black Mamba.


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As of today, Zoo Atlanta's own Black Mamba snake has been renamed 'Kobe' in honor of the Los Angeles Lakers star.

The rather unique (or bizarre, depending on your viewpoint) tribute comes as Bryant and the Lakers prepare to face the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night.

"Kobe Bryant's career accomplishments speak for themselves," said Steve Koonin, the Hawks' CEO.

"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 president Raymond B. King simply added:

"Mr. Bryant is a legend on the court, and the black mamba is a legend in the wild."

Farewell tour

With Kobe's retirement announcement having come with three-quarters of the season still remaining, the future Hall of Famer will be getting a special welcome every time he rolls into a town for the final time as a pro player.

Up to this point, however, the tributes have been limited to video montages and standing ovations. The Atlanta Hawks have just stepped things up by bringing venomous reptiles into the equation.

NBA fans: What would your tribute to Kobe Bryant be? Have your say in the comments below...

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