by Mike Fisher    Tue, Dec 13, 2005, 04:02 PM
Besides a supreme narcissist, a painful loner, an insecure pre-teen or a dorky “Seinfeld’’ character, who in the world gives themselves a nickname?
            Kobe Bryant, that’s who.
A Lakers visit to Dallas allows me to poke fun at one of my favorite “Love-to-Hate’’ jocks, Kobe Bryant. Of course, I don’t do anything to him that he doesn’t do to himself.
His latest oddball misstep?
He’s nicknamed himself “The Black Mamba.’’
Now, it doesn't take a Dr. Phil to mine some psychological gold in there. Kobe sees himself as a “black mamba,’’ a vicious and deadly snake? Ah, the subliminal depth of it all. ... a dark killer, a wild animal, a relentless predator, a phallic symbol.
     A snake.
     Yes, Kobe, you are The Black Mamba, alright.
Wanna try one more time to explain your actions, Mr. Snake, in that Colorado hotel room?
     Someone might argue that The Black Mamba is meant as a basketball metaphor. That Lakers star Bryant, a year ago dissed by and divorced from NBA powers Shaq and JackZen -- and now remarried to the crow-eating coach -- has simply created for himself an on-court persona that is "wild'' and "relentless.''
      Nice try, but I like the "egomaniacal, narcissistic, predatorial loner baby'' explanation better.
      It entertains me and irritates me to no end that Kobe blew through here on Monday and dismantled the Mavs, 109-106. That he scored 43 points with spectacular ease. That, during crunch time, he was blocking shots and swooping to the hoop and nailing a desperation 3-pointer just before the shot clock expired to seal the deal with 33 seconds remaining.
It was brilliant. It was skillful. It was lucky. It was “money.’’

      "For me, it was a good look,'' said The Black Mamba, playing it oh-so-irritatingly cool. "You know, I've done it before.''
Yes, Mr. Snake, we know.
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