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#pounditMonday, February 6, 2023

Articles tagged: Kobe Bryant

Look: Wayne Ellington got great Kobe Bryant tribute tattoo

Kobe Bryant

Wayne Ellington got one heck of a tribute tattoo to Kobe Bryant.

Ellington, who is in his second stint with the Detroit Pistons, got a tattoo of Kobe’s Black Mamba logo on his left thigh. The logo also has Kobe’s face on it.

The detail on the work is excellent.

Kobe tribute tattoos became extremely popular following the former Los Angeles Lakers star’s death last year. LeBron James got one in the days following Kobe’s death (seen here), and Anthony Davis got one as well (here). Ellington’s is much better than both of theirs.

Report: Kobe Bryant was planning to leave Nike, start his own shoe brand

Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant appeared to have quite the ace up his sleeve before his untimely passing this year.

Venture capitalist Shervin Pishevar, a co-founder of Sherpa Capital who has invested in such companies as Airbnb and Uber, revealed a bombshell about Bryant this week. Pishevar tweeted that he met with the Los Angeles Lakers icon in Dec. 2019 to discuss Bryant’s plans to start Mamba, a shoe company that would be owned by players. Bryant was supposedly unhappy with Nike and was planning to leave the brand in 2020. Pishevar also shared details of the meeting and the designs he presented to Bryant.

Pishevar further stated that Bryant was specifically displeased with Nike’s commitment to his shoe line as well as the poor sales numbers.

Bryant’s plans were confirmed by author Pat Benson, who wrote the book “Kobe Bryant’s Sneaker History (1996-2020).” Benson said it was “very likely” that the five-time NBA champion would have left Nike.

“It’s shocking because Kobe was Nike’s golden goose and habitually toed the company line,” Benson told Meredith Cash of “Many of his fans were upset with Nike’s handling of his signature line following his retirement. It feels redeeming that Kobe was unhappy about it too.

“It’s certainly going to make things awkward with Nike in the future,” added Benson. “But it adds to the beautiful complexity of Kobe. Always pushing the envelope.”

Bryant, who passed away on Jan. 26 in a helicopter crash, had been with Nike for 17 years at the time of his death. He became synonymous with the brand, launching several signature sneakers with them and coming out in many memorable advertising campaigns (including appearing as a puppet with LeBron James, seemingly jumping over a speeding Aston Martin, and promoting the “Kobe System” in a series of ads with Kanye West). Bryant had previously been endorsed by Adidas early on in his NBA career.

It is unclear if anything will ever become of the plans for the Mamba shoe company. But Bryant’s vision for a player-owned business model may just live on through this effort that we recently heard about.

H/T Insider

Vanessa Bryant posts touching tribute on anniversary of Kobe’s jersey retirement

Kobe Bryant

Vanessa Bryant honored her late husband with a touching tribute she posted on Instagram on Friday.

Friday marked the three-year anniversary of Kobe Bryant’s jersey retirement ceremony from the Lakers. Both numbers worn by Bryant during his Hall of Fame career (8 and 24) were retired by the team on Dec. 18, 2017.

Three years later, Kobe is no longer alive, but his wife is keeping up the memories. She posted a video clip from the ceremony and said “no one like you” and called Kobe “irreplaceable.”

Kobe and daughter Gianna died on Jan. 26 in a helicopter crash that killed all nine people aboard the chopper. Nearly a year later, it’s still so hard to believe Kobe and Gianna are gone. At least the memories they gave us and their family are still alive.

Newest Laker Wesley Matthews shares great Kobe Bryant story

Kobe Bryant

Wesley Matthews is now a member of the Los Angeles Lakers, and the significance is definitely not lost on him.

Speaking with the media Tuesday for the first time as a Laker, the veteran swingman shared a great story about the late Kobe Bryant. Matthews said that Bryant was there for him after he suffered a torn Achilles.

“One of the people that helped me through mine was Kobe,” said Matthews, per Mike Trudell of Spectrum SportsNet. “He shared his wisdom about it. It helped motivate me because he was honest. He said it’s going to be hard. It’s what I needed to hear.”

Trudell adds that Matthews was emotional recalling the moment and wished to thank Bryant for reaching out when he didn’t have to.

Bryant, who passed away in a helicopter crash in January, tore his own Achilles in 2013 at age 34. He returned to play three more NBA seasons. Matthews, now 34 himself, suffered his tear in 2015. He has since returned to a solid level of play, and next season will mark his sixth since the injury.

Another NBA player recently shared a similar story, and it is obvious that Bryant’s impact will continue to be felt for a long time to come.

Lakers fans, show everyone who runs LA with this great T-shirt. It makes a perfect gift for you or a friend. You can buy it here.

Dez Bryant pays tribute to Kobe Bryant before Ravens debut

Dez Bryant

Dez Bryant could make his highly anticipated return to NFL game action on Sunday, and the star wide receiver used the stage to pay tribute to the late Kobe Bryant.

Bryant arrived at Lucas Oil Stadium for the Baltimore Ravens’ game against the Indianapolis Colts wearing a No. 8 Bryant jersey.

Bryant has been activated from Baltimore’s practice squad for Sunday’s game, though it is unclear if he will play. He has not appeared in an NFL game since 2017 and has made it clear how excited he is for the opportunity the Ravens have given him.

We have seen pro athletes pay tribute to Kobe in a variety of ways since he and his daughter Gianna tragically died in a helicopter crash earlier this year. It was nice to see Bryant continue with that trend on such a huge day for him.

LeBron James sends Instagram tribute to Kobe Bryant after winning championship

LeBron James

LeBron James sent an Instagram tribute to Kobe Bryant on Wednesday night, three days after his Los Angeles Lakers beat the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals.

The Lakers dedicated the rest of their season to Bryant after the late Lakers star died in a helicopter crash on January 26. James and Anthony Davis got tribute tattoos for the Black Mamba and played with him on their mind.

James’ tribute to Bryant showed him with the Mamba’s No. 24 jersey across his lap. The post’s caption said: “Hope I’m made you proud my brother!! Love and miss you Champ!!”

When James signed with the Lakers two years ago, his goal was to return them to the top of the basketball world. Once the team acquired Davis in a trade with the Pelicans last year, that goal became much more attainable.

James now has won four championships in his career, and they have come with three different teams. He is one shy of the five titles Bryant won.

Lakers fans, show everyone who runs LA with this great T-shirt. It makes a perfect gift for you or a friend. You can buy it here.

Anthony Davis shares why Kobe Bryant Lakers jerseys mean more

Anthony Davis

The Los Angeles Lakers are planning to wear their Kobe Bryant Black Mamba jerseys during the NBA Finals, and Anthony Davis says those jerseys carry special meaning.

The Black Mamba jersey was co-designed by the late Bryant, who was among nine people who died in a helicopter crash on January 26, 2020. The jersey features a snakeskin print on the outside and has 16 stars on the side panels, representing the Lakers’ 16 NBA championships.

The Lakers plan to wear the jerseys for Game 2 and a Game 7 if necessary.

“When we put those jerseys on, we for sure play with an extra energy and effort,” Davis said of the Black Mamba jerseys. “Because we can’t lose in those jerseys. It’s like a pride thing — we cannot lose in those jerseys. And not from a cockiness standpoint, but more so like, if we lose in those jerseys, it feels like we’re letting him down. We just want to make him proud.”

The Lakers dedicated the rest of the season to Bryant, who won five championships with the Lakers. Davis and James both got tattoos to commemorate the late Lakers legend.

Playing for an NBA championship is already enough reason to be motivated. Playing for Kobe on top of that gives the Lakers even more focus.

Lakers fans, show everyone who runs LA with this great T-shirt. It makes a perfect gift for you or a friend. You can buy it here.

NBA referee Zach Zarba shares incredible Kobe Bryant story

Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant could be a bit tough on referees, as Zach Zarba once found out.

The veteran NBA referee shared a story from one of his first years in the league, in what he called his “welcome to the NBA moment.” Zarba was officiating a Los Angeles Lakers game in the mid-2000s with a younger Kobe Bryant playing. Bryant complained to Zarba constantly about missing a shooting foul.

Zarba said he went in at halftime and looked at the video of the play in question, which proved Bryant right. Bryant’s reaction to being informed of that fact was priceless.

“When you tell a player and you drop your guard and say, ‘Hey, I missed that play,’ 90 percent of the time the player is going to say: ‘Hey, don’t worry about it. You’ll get the next one.’ That’s the kind of working environment,” Zarba told Sopan Deb of the New York Times. “I come back out and walk up to Kobe and say: ‘Kobe, you were right. You did get hit on the elbow.’ He looked dead at me and I’m expecting a pat on the butt or whatever. He looked at me stone-faced and said, ‘Get it together.'”

We’ve heard some fantastic Kobe stories since his untimely death in January. Count this as one of them. One can only imagine what other things referees heard while working his games.

Pau Gasol gives newborn daughter meaningful name in tribute to Kobe and Gianna Bryant

Pau Gasol

Pau Gasol was incredibly close with Kobe Bryant, and he offered a reminder of just how close on Sunday.

Gasol and his wife Catherine welcomed a baby daughter this week. He shared the news on social media, along with what he called her “very meaningful name” in honor of Gianna Bryant, Kobe’s daughter.

13-year-old Gianna died with her father in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif. on January 26.

Gasol’s post also included the hashtag #girldad, which spread on social media in the days following Bryant’s death in recognition of Kobe’s devotion to his four daughters.

There’s little doubt that Gasol was one of Bryant’s favorite teammates, and the feeling was mutual. Bryant even lobbied for the Lakers to retire Gasol’s number. Gasol visited Bryant’s daughters after Kobe’s and Gianna’s deaths, and appears to remain close with the family. Giving his newborn the middle name Gianna shows just how close the bond was.

Lakers to wear Black Mamba jerseys to honor Kobe Bryant on 8/24

Kobe Bryant

The Los Angeles Lakers happen to be playing on Aug. 24 this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, and they are taking advantage by paying tribute to Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna.

Since Bryant wore No. 8 and No. 24 during his Hall of Fame career with the Lakers, the team announced on Monday that they will honor him and Gianna by wearing Black Mamba jerseys for Game 4 against the Portland Trail Blazers. The jerseys feature a No. 2 patch, which was Gianna’s number.

The jersey was co-designed by Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash with Gianna and seven others on January 26, 2020. It features a snakeskin print on the outside. The initial plan was for the Lakers to wear the jerseys if they advance past the Blazers, but they will wear them on Monday.

Bryant played all of his 20 NBA seasons with the Lakers and won five championships with the team.

This is the latest tribute from the Lakers to Bryant, as some notable players offered theirs right away.