Kobe Bryant: Black Mamba Or … Zorro?

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Kobe Bryant must now hand over his nickname “Black Mamba” and submit to Zorro henceforth. There is no other explanation for his ownership of the super stylin’ mask he put on at the Lakers-Pistons game on Tuesday night. We’ve seen the clear guard — pictorially depicted on the right — a zillion times, but whutup with the sleek black version he had on for the first quarter? Because we’ve never seen one at a game … ever. No one’s ever switched it up like our man here.  Maybe he was trying to be this guy?

Apparently, the black mask is more comfortable because it doesn’t fog up like the clear one. That’s on point — just look at how messy it gets. And he needed a mask in the first place to protect his broken nose. That’s the official explanation. We also think it’s because he had three new faceguards made in Detroit, by the maker of Richard Hamilton’s masks, and just wanted to show them off. He’s a man of the world and he’s gotta know that Fashion Week season is on, right? And because, as mentioned before, who doesn’t love Zorro? Sadly, his superheroic efforts came to a screeching halt in the second quarter and he came back on with the clear version because his newer swag kept slipping. Style comes at a price. But we need to know whether his new style won you over or not? Or should he not care and just play the game?

[Photo: Larry Brown Sports/ Getty Images]