The Los Angeles Lakers will honour Kobe Bryant on the day after what would have been his 42nd birthday, by wearing special “Black Mamba” uniforms for Game 4 of their playoff tie versus the Portland Trailblazers.
This week will see the two organizations that Kobe Bryant was closely associated with during his life, pay a tribute: The Los Angeles Lakers, and Nike. “Mamba Week” —named after Bryant’s nickname – “Black Mamba” — by the American sportswear giants, will see Bryant remembered in different ways.
On August 23rd, which would have been the late Lakers’ star’s 42nd birthday, Nike will release several new colourways of his Kobe Protro signature sneakers, the first merchandise to be released after his death.
Bryant would have turned 42 on Monday when the Lakers face off against the Trail Blazers in Game 4 of their first-round series, leading 2-1 after bouncing back from a defeat in Game 1.
Lakers will continue to wear the uniforms if they move past the first round of the playoffs. The uniforms feature a snakeskin print on the front and 16 stars, for the team’s 16 NBA crowns, on the side.
Kobe’s wife Vanessa Bryant shared a picture of the uniforms, which include a white heart patch with the number 2 for Gigi, their daughter, on Instagram.
Happy Birthday #Kobe
Mamba forever. 💛💜 pic.twitter.com/HHVIeW18sl
— Footaction (@Footaction) August 23, 2020
The jerseys include a detail from the Lakers uniforms when Bryant was a rookie in 1996-97.
On Jan. 26 2020, the 41-year-old basketball legend died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, along with his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven other passengers.
Kobe Bryant Career
Bryant played made his debut in 1996 with the Lakers and retired 20 years later in 2016, entirely with the Los Angeles Lakers. He was a five-time NBA Champion, a two-time Finals MVP, and the 2008 Most Valuable Player. During Bryant’s career, he made the All-Star team 18 times. He was the youngest player to ever reach 30,000 points.
The shorts featured “LA 24” on the belt buckle area and Kobe Bryant’s Nos. 8 and 24 under the flap of each leg. The Lakers wore the Black Mamba City Edition jerseys for eight games in the 2017 season.
Meanwhile, Los Angeles Lakers haven’t won an NBA title since 2010, led by Kobe Bryant himself. In 2020, the Lakers finished as the top seed in the Western Conference and are hot favourites along with their city rivals, Los Angeles Clippers and Eastern Conference leaders, Milwaukee Bucks.
LeBron James and his men will be looking to win their 17th title this season and pay a fitting tribute to their all-time legend and icon of the sport : Kobe “Black Mamba” Bryant.
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