Knicks' Barrett wants to retire his 'Maple Mamba' nickname
Stacy Revere / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Prior to Tuesday night's game against the Charlotte Hornets, New York Knicks rookie RJ Barrett said he'd like to retire his "Maple Mamba" nickname out of respect for the late Kobe Bryant.

The moniker was an homage to Barrett's Canadian roots and his competitive nature.

"I don't want to get called that anymore," Barrett told reporters pregame, including Newsday Sports' Steve Popper. "Somebody great like that, to lose him in that way is really sad. Even to this day you just think about it and it keeps replaying in my mind. It’s tough."

Bryant gave himself the "Black Mamba" nickname as an alter ego to represent his work ethic and relentless attitude.

Barrett is among several players paying homage to Bryant. Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie and Orlando Magic wing Terrence Ross have formally swapped their No. 8 jerseys in honor of the Los Angeles Lakers icon.

Barrett has missed the past five games due to a right ankle sprain. Last year's third overall pick is averaging 14.1 points, 5.2 boards, and 2.5 assists across 41 appearances.

Knicks' Barrett wants to retire his 'Maple Mamba' nickname
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