Odell Beckam Jr. is the latest athlete to get ink in tribute to the late NBA legend
On Saturday, the Cleveland Browns wide receiver shared a video of himself on Instagram getting a portrait of Bryant tattooed on his right abdomen. While Beckham has not yet shared the completed art, the tattoo seems to be a portrait of Bryant biting his Los Angeles Lakers jersey — something he did throughout his career.
Beckham is known for his collection of intricate tattoos all over his body. He also has portraits of Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, Michael Jackson and Heath Ledger as the Joker, among many others.
The 27-year-old paid his respects to Bryant on social media following his death in a Jan. 26 helicopter crash that also killed his 13-year-old daughter and seven others.
“You taught us ALL so many valuable lessons Kobe. Your sacrifice and dedication to this game is somethin that ever athlete can admire,” Beckham wrote in a post on Jan. 29. “You showed us that there is no substitute for hard work. You’ve been thru it, yet u always found a way to overcame it all.”
“This one hurt beyond words. I still can’t believe it,” he continued. “Somethin I live by and constantly remind myself of is that “Tomorrow isn’t promised.” We’re gonna miss u brother. My prayers go out to the Bryant family and others. 2020 is for u champ, that’s my word!!! Rest easy King. Rest easy GiGi.”
Beckham also posted a picture of himself wearing a championship jacket from Bryant’s title win in 2001.
Less than a week after the tragic accident, James, 35, shared a photo of his own new tattoo, which is on his thigh and features a snake — a reference to Bryant’s “Black Mamba” nickname — and the late athlete’s jersey numbers, 8 and 24. The design also includes two roses as well as the words “Mamba 4 Life” inked below the black serpent.
Davis, James’ teammate on the Lakers, also got a tattoo featuring a snake wrapped around Bryant’s logo.
The first part of the tribute appeared across his shin, where O’Neal tattooed Bryant’s famous catchphrase “Mamba Mentality” and its logo.
Moving towards the inside of his leg, he paid homage to Bryant and Gianna with their jersey numbers. For Bryant, he got the numbers “8” and “24,” along with an illustration of the late NBA legend shooting a basketball. Above the illustration, O’Neal inked Gianna’s No. 2 Mamba Academy jersey.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the city will hold a service at Staples Center on Monday, Feb. 24. The event will also honor victims John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Sarah Chester, Payton Chester, Christina Mauser, and pilot Ara Zobayan. No other details about the event have been announced.