In retrospect, Kobe Bryant should have chosen "Cobra" as his handle. Cobras are probably the most notorious venomous snakes in the world. You don't want your nick to be something so specific it borders on obscurity and your average fan will cock an eyebrow at it. You want to choose something a little broader, something that everyone recognizes and associates with deadly-killer-who-strikes-swiftly-and-with-finality (that is what Kobe was going for, right?). Kenny Smith was "The Jet", not "The F-15". Cobras have trademark hoods. Scary. They have rhythm. Beautiful. Black Mamba, on the other hand, sounds a bit feminine.
Now, sound it out. Kobe, Cobra. Cobra Bryant. Kobe "Cobra" Bryant. After he won his 5th championship he could have changed it (in Shaq-style) to be Kobe "King Cobra" Bryant.
No, no adder is as poisonous as a Black Mamba...but come on, what sounds better?
* Apparently Adonal Foyle's nickname was The Cobra. I'm sure Kobe could have taken it like he took the Lakers.