The first time the Lakers wore their Black Mamba jerseys in the NBA playoffs, in Game 4 of the first round against the Portland Trail Blazers, they looked as unstoppable as the man the threads were inspired by in their 135-115 victory. That night, Kobe Bryant’s former agent — and current Lakers general manager — Rob Pelinka thought that the team he put together honored the legacies of his late friend and goddaughter.
“Tonight we were able to play with uplifted spirits to honor the beautiful lives of Kobe and Gigi. We played this game like they both played — with a laser focus on the highest level of competition, and with a purpose of getting better,” Pelinka told Dave McMenamin of ESPN at the time. “We are very grateful for that.”
The Lakers players and coaches said they felt Bryant’s presence while wearing their black snakeskin kits on the day named in his honor, and the Lakers will be looking to recapture some of the magic of those jerseys in Game 2 of the Western Conference Semifinals. When the Lakers take on the Rockets on Sunday, they’ll be wearing their Mamba jerseys again, according to the NBA’s Locker Vision Website (as first caught by the talented team over at The Refrigerator):
The Lakers will wear their Black Mamba Jerseys on Game 2 against the Houston Rockets pic.twitter.com/BWfSl42bxL— The Refrigerator (@RefrigeratorLAL) September 3, 2020
The Lakers have never lost a playoff game while wearing their Black Mamba jerseys, and are averaging 135 points per 100 possessions in those outfits, shooting a snakebite-lethal 43.6% in them.
Now, we should note that the Lakers have only played one game while wearing these jerseys, the aforementioned win against the Blazers. Still, to paraphrase the great philosopher LaVar Ball: UNDEFEATED, NEVA LOST. If the Lakers play just as well or better in their second time around in these threads and get another win, I think they have to wear them for every remaining playoff game.