Kobe Bryant is one of the most iconic players in the history of the NBA. The Los Angeles Lakers legend played for two decades and has left behind a legacy that is bigger than the game of basketball itself.
Kobe is so beloved because of his commitment not just to the Los Angeles Lakers but to hard work. Kobe was a special breed of human being, one who every single person on the planet can take inspiration from.
From myself to Kobe Bryant, my nine-year-old cousin to my 65-year-old grandmother, from Laker fans to Celtic fans to Yankee fans to Cowboys fans: everyone can take inspiration from Kobe Bryant and his relentless devotion to being great.
This devotion to greatness not only made Kobe a fan favorite but landed him some great nicknames over time as well. Basketball-Reference has an assortment Bryant nicknames listed on their site, so we decided to rank them, as well as some others that have been associated with Bryant.
Lakers: The best Kobe Bryant nicknames — 7.”The Eighth Man”
This nickname actually came before Kobe Bryant’s playing days. This was a self-given nickname by Bryant, serving as his rap name when he was growing up in Philadelphia. ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne gave some back story to the nickname in a feature on Bryant shortly after his retirement.
"“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,” Sanchez said. “He’d come with me and watch me just destroy everyone.”After high school, they started a rap group called Cheizaw, signed a record deal with Sony and spoke on the phone almost every day. “We’d freestyle for hours. He could beatbox,” Sanchez said. “I remember when he blocked [Michael] Jordan’s shot. He was going crazy. He called up and was like, ‘I need to be charged up. I need to freestyle for like 45 minutes.””"
Lakers: The best Kobe Bryant nicknames — 6. “Showboat”
This nickname did come from Kobe Bryant’s playing days and was actually given to him by his most prolific teammate: Shaquille O’Neal.
Shaq gave this nickname to Kobe far before Kobe became the all-star, Hall of Fame-level player that he would shortly become. Shaq bestowed this nickname onto Kobe in his rookie season, you guessed it, because Kobe loved to show off how talented he was.
It is fitting that a player like Shaq, who was so naturally talented but did have that same insane motor that Kobe had, would give him a nickname like showboat. I’ve never heard anyone call Kobe this nickname, so it ranks fifth.
Lakers: The best Kobe Bryant nicknames — 5. “KB24”
This one is pretty self explanatory and while I like it from a recognition standpoint, it really is not all that creative. It is a spin on Bryant’s name and number, similar to the CP3 or RG3 nicknames that have become so popular.
It does not flow off the tongue as much as these other ones and is not as creative.
Lakers: The best Kobe Bryant nicknames — 4. “Vino”
Kobe Bryant truly did age like a fine wine in the NBA, not winning his only MVP award until he was in his 30s. Bryant was still one of the best players in the league into his mid-30s and I would bet that he would have had a run similar to LeBron James’ if he did not suffer the Achilles injury.
Lakers: The best Kobe Bryant nicknames — 3. “Little Flying Warrior”
This one ranks in my top three because of outside-the-box it is compared to all the other nicknames. This is a nickname that I would absolute give myself in an NBA 2K career.
The orgin of this nickname is Kobe’s fans over in China. He has had an assortment of nicknames that translate into something interesting, but this is by far the best.
Lakers: The best Kobe Bryant nicknames — 2. “The Eighth Wonder of the World”
This is such a solid nickname. We have heard plenty of things be called the eighth wonder of the world. From new accomplishents in architecture to Andre the Giant to King Kong, this is a nickname that has been used time and time again.
It is still fantastic. It is made more fantastic due to the fact that Kobe wore number 8. That wittiness behind that pushes it over the edge, even if it is a nickname that is not terribly unique to Koeb Bryant.
The number 1 nickname on this list is quite obvious.
Lakers: The best Kobe Bryant nicknames — 1. “Black Mamba”
Well, duh. How were we going to do a list of the best Kobe Bryant nicknames of all-time and not rank Black Mamba number one? This was kind of obvious and to be quite honest, the point of this article was to highlight some of his other fun nicknames.
This is the nickname that Kobe Bryant will forever be remembered by. It lives on in his Mamba and Mambacita foundation, renamed in honor of Kobe and Gianna after their tragic passing last January.
The Black Mamba. It is not just Kobe Bryant’s best nickame, but one of the best nicknames in basketball history.
Air Jordan, King James, Magic, Black Mamba. The Mount Rushmore of NBA nicknames… if you asked me.