Matt Barnes played two seasons on the Los Angeles Lakers with Kobe Bryant

By Claudia Harmata
August 11, 2020 01:26 PM
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Matt Barnes is honoring the life of his former teammate, Kobe Bryant, with a new tattoo.

On Tuesday, the retired NBA player shared a series of Instagram Story clips documenting himself getting a new tattoo from celebrity tattoo artist Steve Butcher. The new ink memorializes the late Kobe and his daughter Gianna, who died in a tragic helicopter accident in January.

"Tattoo day. Here goes my tattoo prep kit," Barnes says on his Story as he flips the camera to show a series of snacks he prepared.

Matt Barnes/Instagram
Matt Barnes/Instagram

Barnes, 40, later shows his followers a glimpse of the tattoo, which he opted to get on his leg, when it was halfway completed. "It's coming along," he tells his followers as he shows the progress.

His tattoo captures the sweet moment Kobe and Gianna embraced at the 2016 NBA All-Star Game in Orlando.

Matt Barnes/Instagram

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Kobe and Barnes became fast friends after the pair played two seasons together for the Los Angeles Lakers from 2010 to 2012.

After news of Kobe and Gianna's death, Barnes shared several tribute posts on social media. "Still doesn’t seem real.. Today the World Honors you but the Real Ones who’ve always loved you & Gigi honor you everyday... RestEasy," he shared on the day of their public memorial service at the Staples Center.

Several other NBA stars have also gotten new ink to honor Kobe and Gianna — including LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Devin Booker.

James got his tattoo in late January, just days after Kobe's death. He later shared a photo of the ink, which 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.