So which animal is Kobe?

L.A. Times: Beyond the usual, “I’m fine,” “It’s OK,” and “It is what it is,” statements Lakers guard Kobe Bryant typically makes regarding his injuries, he recently added an extra wrinkle. “I feel like a gazelle,” he said Monday when he knew for sure he was going to return to the lineup after missing the previous five games because of a left ankle sprain and sore tendon.

He’ll still be known as the Black Mamba in the minds of Lakers fans, but Bryant’s “gazelle” comment raised questions (at least in my mind) as to what other animals could rightfully be associated with Bryant.

I’m by no means an animal expert, and the grades in my biology classes prove it. But I figured I’d contact people who are to lend their insight. Los Angeles Zoo spokesperson Jason Jacobs provided me a rundown on the different behaviors of certain animals and Dana Brown, director of human resources at the L.A. Zoo and a Lakers fan, explained how they are comparable to Bryant’s play.

Tiger: Tigers have to be self sufficient. They have their own territory and they hunt for themselves. They have to be dependent on themselves. They’re camouflaged. No two Tigers striped patterns are alike.

How Bryant is like a tiger: You don’t find a lot of Tigers and you don’t find a lot of Kobes. For the solitary animals that Tigers are, Kobe, while popular and widely recognizable, he’s not really all that social. You don’t see him on the social scene. He’s not the most social person there is. He is sort of predatory. He’s slow and calculating and then he jumps at it.

Mambas: Mambas are venomous species of snakes found in Africa. There’s two types. The green mamba and the black mamba. They are very fast snakes and very deadly. When you deal with them in a zoo situation, you take every safety precaution to transfer them. Black mambas are the largest venomous snakes in Africa and their average length is around eight to nine feet. Some can exceed 12 feet.

How Bryant is like a mamba: He is definitely one of the most deadly players out there. When Kobe is in the game, somebody is going down.

Continue reading ‘Los Angeles Zoo employees compare Kobe’s play to several animal behaviors’