In a tribute to the late Kobe Bryant, LeBron James got a “Mamba 4 Life” tattoo on his left thigh with the Nos. 8 and 24 — the two numbers Bryant wore during his 20 years with the Lakers — and a snake, as a nod to Bryant’s alter ego, the Black Mamba. As far as we know, James was the first NBA superstar to get a tattoo in remembrance of Bryant, but it seems as though he’s started a trend, at least in the Lakers’ locker room.
On Saturday, Vanessa Aurelia — a tattoo artist based out of Riverside, CA — posted a picture of the tattoo she did for Anthony Davis on his right thigh. The design is Bryant’s logo, “The Sheath,” with a black mamba wrapped around it. Aurelia also did James’ tattoo:
Davis and Bryant started to form a relationship before Davis even played his first game in the NBA.
At the age of 19, Davis was selected to be a part of Team USA’s 2012 Olympic basketball team with Bryant, and he credits Bryant and James for teaching him how to be a consummate professional before his NBA career started.
“Kob’ and ‘Bron were the first two guys to take me under their wing and show me the ropes in the league,” Davis said after the Lakers’ loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday night. “Never went to summer league, never had a day where I had played an NBA game yet, and Kob’ and ‘Bron, they just showed me how to work. How to be a professional. And it’s something that I’ll always cherish. I was able to learn a lot from him and kind of just go through my career and go through the lessons he taught me.”
Almost eight years later, James and Davis play for the team that Bryant spent 20 years with, and they’re hoping to continue the tradition of championships that Bryant continued for the legends that came before him. With the two of them leading things, James and Davis have as good of a shot as any team in the league.