This week will see the two organizations that Kobe Bryant was most closely associated with during his life honor his legacy: The Los Angeles Lakers, and Nike. Dubbed “Mamba Week” — after Bryant’s self-given “Black Mamba” nickname — by the sneaker giant, this week will see Bryant remembered in a few ways.
On Sunday, Aug. 23, which would have been the late Lakers’ star’s 42nd birthday, Nike will release several new colorways of his Kobe Protro signature sneakers, the first new Mamba merch since his passing.
On the next day (8/24), which has been known as “Mamba Day” in the past — and officially recognized as “Kobe Bryant Day” by both Los Angeles and Orange County due to the date representing the two retired jersey numbers Bryant wore during his legendary career with the Lakers — the Lakers will wear the “Black Mamba” version of their alternate jerseys for Game 3 of their first-round NBA playoff series against the Portland Trail Blazers.
It’s not the only way the team is using Bryant as inspiration, either, as they began their first film session of the playoffs with a tribute video to the late star.
The Lakers were originally reported to be planning to wear those jerseys in the second-round, but apparently what will likely be their one chance to wear the black, snakeskin-inspired threads on the day named after the player they’re modeled for was too good to pass up. Nike will also begin selling the jerseys on Monday, Aug. 24, along with several other exclusive shoes.
These are the same jerseys the Lakers wore in 2017, but these ones will apparently have a heart patch with a No. 2 on the shoulder to honor Bryant’s late daughter, Gianna, who was lost along with him and seven others in a tragic helicopter crash in January.
For more on how the Lakers and Nike plan to honor Bryant during the week and during the playoffs, we will be updating the thread below, so stay tuned there for all the of the latest ways they’ll be remembering the star Los Angeles will never forget.