Odell Beckam Jr. is the latest athlete to get ink in tribute to the late NBA legend

By Jason Duaine Hahn
February 10, 2020 01:55 PM

LeBron James and Anthony Davis were two of the first athletes to receive tattoos in honor of the late Kobe Bryant after his death last month, and now NFL star Odell Beckham Jr. is following suit.

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.”

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“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.

Beckham and Bryant
Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty

Shareef O’Neal, the son of Bryant’s former teammate Shaquille O’Neal, also debuted a massive leg tattoo he got in honor of the late NBA legend and his daughter, Gianna.

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.

Kobe Bryant
Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images

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 AltobelliKeri AltobelliAlyssa AltobelliSarah Chester, Payton ChesterChristina Mauser, and pilot Ara Zobayan. No other details about the event have been announced.

If you would like to help the families of the victims of the crash, consider donating to the Mamba on Three Fund. Contributions to the Mamba Sports Foundation will help support youth sports.