After the tragic death of Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gigi and 7 others, the Los Angeles Lakers dedicated the remainder of their 2020 season to the Black Mamba.
The Lakers created jerseys that honored Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gigi.
The jerseys are black with yellow lining and mamba skin imprinted on the uniform itself.
It, of course, represents the nickname Kobe earned as the cold-blooded assassin that he was during his playing career.
Tonight: Game 2 🤍 pic.twitter.com/Zpg8Ovc0bv
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) September 20, 2020
The Spirit of Kobe in Game 2
The Lakers wore those Mamba edition jerseys in game 2 of the Western Conference Finals against the Denver Nuggets.
A game that came down to the wire and finished in a fashion that Kobe Bryant would be proud of.
In an entertaining back and forth game, the Nuggets gained control and took a 103-102 lead with 2.1 seconds left.
Breaking the huddle and coming out of the timeout, a play that many thought was going to be drawn up for LeBron James, went in fact, to this partner in crime, Anthony Davis.
Davis, who many recognize as one of the greatest big men in today’s game, have harped on the fact that he does not come up big in fourth quarters.
To put it frankly, they do not believe he is clutch.
However, the ending of this game speaks volume to Davis’ willingness to take and excel at making big-time shots.
ANTHONY DAVIS. FOR THE WIN.
(📺: TNT) pic.twitter.com/qolqy9DHMY
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) September 21, 2020
AD shouts “KOBE” after hitting the game-winner.
After sinking the three-point shot to give his team the victory and ensure a 2-0 lead over the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals, Davis goes on to mouth to word “KOBE”, honoring the Lakers legend.
In Anthony Davis post game remarks, he touched upon what it meant to be wearing the jerseys that Kobe himself designed:
“Obviously, we’re representing him. Especially in those jerseys. It’s his jersey, one he created, and any time we put it on, we want to win…Just looking down at the jersey and Coach telling us, it’s a constant reminder that Kobe is with us, and we kind of have the spirit in those jerseys.”
The spirit of the Black Mamba was with Anthony Davis and his teammates, as AD scored 10 of his 31 points in the fourth quarter.
Coach Frank Vogel touched upon the importance of the legacy that Kobe left behind and how he defined what it means to be a Laker.
“We want to embody what Kobe Bryant stood for and honor his memory. Obviously there’s certain games where we’re gonna feel it a little more than others, when we have that uniform on, I think we feel it more than others. That’s a shot Kobe Bryant would hit. So to me, AD coming off, flying through the wing like that, catch-and-shoot with the game on the line in the biggest moment of our season, nothing but net, that’s a Mamba shot.”
Tough shot indeed. It is important to note that the Los Angeles Lakers are undefeated when wearing the Mamba edition jerseys.
It must be special for some of the younger guys on the team who idolized Kobe to be wearing a jersey that he created in the conference finals, where Kobe gained and earned the idolization of others through his performance and ability to make and hit clutch shots.
The Lakers have honored Kobe ever since his tragic death by just winning, which is what Kobe would want.
They look to continue doing that as they are seeking a 3-0 lead against the Denver Nuggets in their hopes of acquiring yet another Larry O’Brien trophy.