As the dates on the calendar represented Kobe Bryant's two iconic jersey numbers, the NBA world honored the late Lakers legend on what is aptly termed as 'Mamba Day'. Celebrated just one day after Kobe's birthday, it was a bittersweet moment for fans around the world as they remembered their favorite superstar who died in a tragic helicopter crash seven months ago.
'Mamba Day' is not just about paying homage to Kobe Bryant. It's a celebration of everything Kobe stood for. With his incredible work ethic, discipline, and dedication to the craft, Kobe was the gold standard for what it means to be a champion.
Other than sporting Mamba Jerseys and sneakers with special messages on them, NBA players in the Orlando Bubble commemorated the five-time champion by incorporating a bit of 'Mamba Mentality' in their game too.
Lakers don the iconic 'Black Mamba' edition Jersey
Emotions were running high today, especially among the Los Angeles Lakers. Kobe Bryant had been the face of the franchise for the past two decades and gave his heart and soul to the team. In collaboration with Nike, the Lakers donned a special edition 'Black Mamba' jersey for Game 4 in their first-round playoff series against the Portland Trail Blazers.
The Lakers started the game with a video tribute to Kobe Bryant and the 'Mamba Mentality' in them was evident right from the tip-off. LeBron James and co. put on one of their most dominant performances of the year as they annihilated the Trail Blazers by 20 points. This moment was made even more special as students from the Mamba Academy were among the virtual crowd for the game,
Pau Gasol, one of Kobe Bryant's best friends, celebrated 'Mamba Day' along with Kobe Bryant's children.
While LeBron James donned a number 8 Kobe Jersey pre-game, JR Smith had a special message about Kobe on his shoes.
How the rest of the league remembered Kobe Bryant
While Kobe Bryant represented the Los Angeles Lakers during his 20-year career, his legacy belongs to all of basketball. Teams and players around the world paid homage to the late Hall of Famer in their own ways.
OKC Thunder's veteran Chris Paul spoke about his old friend and reflected on the impact Kobe had on his game.
Chicago Bulls celebrated Mamba Day with this special message, while the Miami Heat players commemorated Mamba in their own unique way too.
Nike put out this heartfelt commercial celebrating the life and legacy of Kobe which was narrated by hip-hop star Kendrick Lamar.
Wishes pour in for Kobe from outside the world of basketball
While Kobe Bryant became a legend on the basketball court, his legacy definitely transcended the sport. Celebrities and fans around the world honored their beloved superstar on social media on Mamba Day.
NFL team Los Angeles Rams celebrated the genius of Kobe Bryant with this brilliant message.
Dana White, the president of the UFC, paid tribute to Kobe Bryant by posting an image of the duo sharing the stage.
Published 25 Aug 2020, 10:25 IST