Russell Wilson Pays Tribute to Kobe Bryant with Jersey and Shoes: 'He Inspired People'

The Seattle Seahawks quarterback wore a limited edition version of the "Black Mamba" Los Angeles Lakers uniforms that were designed by Kobe Bryant after his retirement from the NBA

Russell Wilson
Photo: Seattle Seahawks/Instagram

Russell Wilson had the "Mamba Mentality" while helping the Seattle Seahawks win a division title over the weekend.

The 32-year-old quarterback arrived at Lumen Field before Sunday's game against the Los Angeles Rams wearing a Los Angeles Lakers "Black Mamba" jersey that paid tribute to the late Kobe Bryant. The jersey features a black snakeskin print — a nod to Bryant's "Black Mamba" nickname — and both of Bryant's jersey numbers (No. 8 on the front, and No. 24 on the back).

Wilson was also wearing green Nike Zoom Kobe 6 "Grinch" sneakers. The shoes originally made their debut during the Los Angeles Lakers' Christmas game in 2010 and were re-released on Christmas Eve this year.

Wilson posted pictures of himself wearing the jersey to his Instagram page, writing one word in the caption: "MAMBA."

"I think that the reason that I wore this jersey tonight, too, was I think about Kobe," Wilson told reporters after the game according to Yahoo Sports. "Big championship matchup, everything that's going on in 2020, to honor him. To have that mentality, Mamba Mentality."

kobe bryant
Kobe Bryant. Gary A. Vasquez/Getty Images

"The reality of what this 2020 year has been like," Wilson continued, "he's one of the first things that come to mind, in just what he represented, how he inspired people."

Wilson and the Seahawks went on to beat the Rams 20-9 and win the NFC West championship, securing their spot in the upcoming playoffs.

"I think to be able to get to here, tonight, and for us to play for the NFC West championship on Dec. 27, it's been a long year," Wilson said. "To be able to go and win this game and have that Mamba Mentality in the fourth quarter and in the last drive, convert our third downs and make a huge play with Hollister there at the end."

After Bryant's death alongside his daughter Gianna, 13, in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26, Wilson and his wife, Ciara, paid tribute to the five-time NBA champion by wearing his jersey to the Super Bowl.

RELATED VIDEO: Ciara and Russell Wilson Debut 'Special' Fragrance Duo R+C: 'It's Something Sweet for Everyone'

The couple is close friends with the Bryant family, and Ciara recently joined Bryant's widow, Vanessa Bryant, on a ski trip after the Christmas holiday.

Two of Bryant's daughters Natalia, 17, and Bianka, 4, also joined in, as well as Ciara's children: Future, 6, and Sienna, 3.

Related Articles