LOOK: LeBron James gets inked with 'Mamba 4 Life' tattoo
MANILA, Philippines – LeBron James showed that the late Kobe Bryant would remain a part of his life forever with a "Mamba 4 Life" tattoo.
James, who joined the Lakers in 2018, posted an image of his tattoo on Instagram together with a photo of the two superstars in the USA Olympic team that won back-to-back golds.
The tattoo features the Black Mamba – Bryant's signature symbol as his basketball skills were likened to the reptile's ability to "strike with 99% accuracy at maximum speed, in rapid succession" – together with the NBA legend's two retired jersey No. 8 and 24 and a "Mamba 4 Life" slogan.
James has been posting a series of Instagram posts, remembering his best moments with the late NBA great. He vowed that he would continue Bryant's legacy in the NBA and the purple and gold.
Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna died in a helicopter crash on Sunday, January 26 (Monday, January 27, Manila time) hours after James surpassed the five-time NBA champion for No. 3 in the NBA all-time scoring list by dropping 29 points against the Philadelphia 76ers to tally a total of 33,644 points.
Bryant previously held the No. 3 spot with 33,643 points in 20 NBA seasons. (READ: Shaq, Magic, Kareem, other Laker greats pay tribute to Kobe Bryant)
Even the late Lakers legend's last tweet was dedicated to James.
The Lakers played their first game since Bryant's death on Friday, January 31 (Saturday, February 1, Manila time) against the Portland Trail Blazers as the NBA postponed their game versus the Los Angeles Clippers set Tuesday, January 28 in the wake of Bryant's tragic death.
Although James and Bryant never played on the same team in the NBA, both basketball superstars teamed up to lead Team USA to back-to-back Olympic golds in 2008 and 2012.
This season, the Lakers hold the second-best record in the NBA at 36-10 to lead the Western Conference, with James averaging 25.3 points, 7.7 rebounds and a league-best 10.7 assists a game.