Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Bryant held a similar workout and classroom tutorial with WNBA players in January.Faulkner told ESPN that he is open-minded about continuing to host similar workouts for elite NBA and WNBA players at their facilities, which include a location in Redondo Beach.🚨Some Important News🚨 pic.twitter.com/4QRVza7yL3— Sports Academy (@sportsxacademy) May 12, 2020 AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with Packers“Sports Academy’s mission remains unchanged. Sports Academy is still here to transform the way each of us approach human performance. Sports Academy is still here to support current professionals and guide the next generation of athletes. Sports Academy is still here to provide an integrated and full-circle approach to training.”Bryant, the 2007-08 NBA MVP, five-time NBA champion and 18-time All-Star, hosted workouts and a classroom tutorial for several NBA players, including the Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard and Paul George and the Lakers’ Kentavious Caldwell-Pope this past offseason at the academy’s Thousand Oaks location.“It’s a good group of talent that went,” Leonard said of the session. “I wasn’t really able to see them play against each other but he did a great job getting a lot of trainers together — elite trainers and the elite players that were there — putting them through drills… I was up there for about an hour or two just talking to Kobe, bouncing ideas off of him and that was pretty much it.”Shortly after the helicopter crash that killed Bryant and his daughter Gianna and seven others on their way to the academy in Thousand Oaks, George said he was thinking about that visit with Bryant at Mamba Sports Academy.“It just touches and hits me at all angles, from idolizing him as a kid to developing friendship and brotherhood to now having conversations with him this summer at his Mamba Academy and talking about fatherhood, it’s just some (stuff) you can’t get over,” George said. “That was the last time I seen him was this summer at his academy. We talked for a while. I wasn’t on the court because I had my (injured) shoulder so a lot of this stuff I was on the sideline just talking to him. We shared a bunch of stories.” Like some NBA players who retired their Nos. 8 and 24 to pay respect to Kobe Bryant following the Laker great’s death on Jan. 26, the Mamba Sports Academy on Tuesday announced that it has retired “Mamba” from its name.Sports Academy was founded in 2016 by Chad Faulkner before being rebranded as Mamba Sports Academy when it partnered with Kobe, Inc. in 2018. “Mamba” was from Bryant’s nickname, “The Black Mamba,” which he’d famously anointed himself.“What MSA accomplished in the subsequent 14 months was extraordinary, but only scratching the surface of what was possible,” a statement on the academy’s new website read. “Like tens of millions of fans around the globe, Sports Academy’s world drastically changed on January 26, 2020. Today, with respect for an unparalleled legacy, the Academy will retire the ‘Mamba’ in the Mamba Sports Academy name — to raise it to the rafters, where it belongs.”The statement continued: “The changing of the name from Mamba Sports Academy to Sports Academy, the original name from 2016, is not a decision we came to lightly or on our own. It was a mutual agreement made in accordance with the wishes of his estate. Thank you for respecting that decision in these turbulent times.