LeBron James gave fans a closer look at his new Kobe Bryant tattoo at the first Lakers game since the NBA legend’s death. On Friday night, the 35-year-old, who recently surpassed Kobe Bryant for third on the all-time scoring list, shared a close-up of the fresh ink on his social media ahead of the game. He also shared a touching throwback photo of himself hanging courtside with the fallen star. It’s been almost a week since Kobe Bryant, along with 8 others including his 13-year-old daughter, Gigi, lost their lives in a helicopter crash.
“My brother ♾ #Mamba4Life #RIPKobe #RIPGiGi,” LeBron James captioned the sweet photos. His new tattoo pays tribute to Kobe Bryant and features a snake, a reference to his nickname “Black Mamba.” The serpent also has Kobe Bryant’s two jersey numbers, 8 and 24, along with roses. The words “Mamba 4 Life” are written below the reptile in black cursive. LeBron James’ tattoo sits on his left upper thigh and was done by Riverside tattoo artist, Vanessa Aurelia, who also shared some never-before-seen pictures from their recent tattoo session.
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Posting the snaps on her Instagram, she expressed her gratitude for the honor. “@kingjames thank you for letting me Do this piece for you!! From the bottom of my heart it was an honor and you’re the dopest to work with! Making my job easy’!!” she captioned the photos. The tattoo artist then turned her focus to Kobe Bryant. “@kobebryant you are missed loved and cherished through many,” she added. Fans first saw the fresh ink on Wednesday but it was hard to make out since he had it bandaged up.
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As The Blast reported, Kobe Bryant, his daughter, and 7 others died after their helicopter crashed and burst into flames amid foggy conditions in Calabasas, CA. They were on their way to a youth basketball game last Sunday with two of Gianna’s teammates, their parents, and assistant coach. Following the devastating news, LeBron James broke his silence by posting an emotional tribute to his dear friend. Stating he had just talked to Kobe Bryant hours before his death, LeBron James said he “didn’t think for one bit in a million years that would be the last conversation we’d have.”
“I’m Not Ready but here I go. Man I sitting here trying to write something for this post but every time I try I begin crying again just thinking about you, niece Gigi and the friendship/bond/brotherhood we had!” he added. Revealing he was “heartbroken” and “devastated” over the loss of his friend, the Lakers player continued, “Man I love you big bro. My heart goes to Vanessa and the kids.” Kobe Bryant is survived by his wife, Vanessa Bryant, and three daughters, one of which is only 7 months old. He was 41 years old.