Los Angeles Lakers to Wear Black Mamba Jerseys in Honor of Kobe Bryant: Report

According to the Los Angeles Times, the NBA team will play in snake-print jerseys that Kobe Bryant helped design

Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant in March 2007. Photo: Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers will honor Kobe Bryant with special uniforms, according to reports.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the NBA squad will sport Black Mamba jerseys if they progress past round one of the playoffs. The snake-print jersey features black interior patterns with 16 stars, and was designed in part by Bryant himself, the outlet reported. The team begins their first-round series on Tuesday night against Portland Trail Blazers.

A spokesperson for the Lakers did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

Bryant died on January 26 in a tragic helicopter crash that also killed his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven others — Payton Chester, 13, Sarah Chester, 46, Alyssa Altobelli, 14, Keri Altobelli, 46, John Altobelli, 56, Christina Mauser, 38, and pilot Ara Zobayan, 50.

The basketball legend played for the Lakers for his entire 20-year career, wearing jersey numbers 8 and 24. He made his debut with the team in 1996 after being drafted straight out of high school.

Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant in April 2016. Harry How/Getty

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In July, current Lakers star LeBron James opened up about missing Bryant six months after his untimely death. During a conference call with reporters ahead of the resumed, abbreviated basketball season, James, 35, took a moment to reflect on Bryant, his former Olympic teammate.

"A day doesn't go by when I don't think about him," James said, according to USA Today.

While James and Bryant were often seen as rivals before the latter's NBA retirement in 2016, Bryant frequently praised James once he left the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Lakers two years later. Bryant, who sat courtside during several Lakers games this season, championed James for coming to L.A. and giving the team a chance to win a 17th championship.

“When LeBron came to Los Angeles, he is now a Laker, he is part of our brotherhood, part of our fraternity, and we should embrace him that way,” Bryant told the Los Angeles Times in January before his death. “You got to celebrate … appreciate what he is as an athlete while he is here. Appreciate this guy, celebrate what he’s done because it’s truly remarkable.”

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The Newport Beach, California, area where Bryant lived prior to his death is also planning to honor the sports star. Orange County supervisors have voted to make Aug. 24 official Kobe Bryant Day.

Aug. 24 was chosen because it features the two jersey numbers, 8 and 24. The date is also one day after his birthday.

County Board Chairwoman Michelle Steel said Bryant was a “treasured member of our community” who “inspired so many men and women to pursue their dreams and never give up,” according to a recording of the board meeting earlier this month.

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