Vanessa Bryant Reacts to News Lakers Will Wear Kobe Bryant Tribute Jerseys for NBA Finals Game 5

The Los Angeles Lakers will wear the "Black Mamba" uniforms during their potential championship-clinching game on Friday night

The Lakers are making a statement.

On Wednesday, the Los Angeles Lakers announced they will wear their Black Mamba uniforms — which were designed by the late Kobe Bryant after his retirement from the NBA in 2016 — for Game 5 of the NBA Finals.

The team is currently undefeated this postseason (4-0) when wearing the snakeskin pattern uniforms, and can clinch the NBA championship with just one more win against the Miami Heat.

The Lakers last wore the Black Mamba uniforms in the second game of the series and were only scheduled to wear them once more if the series went to Game 7, according to ESPN. But the change signifies that the Lakers have every intention of closing out the series before then.

Lebron James
LeBron James. Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Bryant's widow, Vannesa Bryant, celebrated the decision on her Instagram Story, writing, "Mamba and Mambacita jerseys approved for game 5," referencing the nicknames of Bryant and their 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, who died with her father in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26.

"Let's go Lakers," Vanessa wrote alongside a picture of LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Rajon Rondo wearing the uniforms.

Kobe Bryant
Vanessa Bryant/Instagram

Earlier this week, James wore a shirt featuring a picture of Bryant with the words, "More than ever with love, 1978-2020." Los Angeles went on to beat Miami 102-96 later that day, giving them a 3-1 lead in the Finals.

Bryant and James were often viewed as friendly rivals throughout their careers.

The late athlete, along with Shaquille O'Neal, led the Lakers to three consecutive championships in the early 2000s, followed later by back-to-back titles in 2009 and 2010. James won two championships with the Miami Heat in 2012 and 2013, and led the Cleveland Cavaliers to a title over the heavily favored Golden State Warriors in 2016 — the year Bryant retired from the NBA.

James recently opened up about his regrets with Bryant, telling Yahoo Sports, "Of course, you think there’s going to be time for us to get together and I understand that there are regrets in life, but I definitely wish I had that moment with him."

RELATED VIDEO: Remembering Kobe Bryant

"I do remember when I decided to come here, he sent me a text right away and said, ‘Welcome, brother. Welcome to the family,' "James added. "That was a special moment because at the time, Laker faithful wasn’t [fully in on me]. A lot of people were saying, ‘Well, we might not want LeBron at this point in his career,’ and, ‘Is he right? Is he going to get us back [to the Finals]?’"

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