The Los Angeles Lakers are honoring the late Kobe Bryant in a variety of ways including with a jersey patch. The Lakers debuted a black patch with the letters “K.B.” along with a star on the shoulder of their gold jerseys. The K.B. is a reference to Bryant’s initials as the Lakers legend along with his daughter were two of the nine people who died in a helicopter crash on Sunday, January 26.
The Lakers put the same logo on the court at the Staples Center right behind the baseline. L.A. also has the No. 8 and No. 24 on the court as well which are the two jersey numbers Bryant wore during his NBA career. Here is a look at the new additions to the Staples Center court.
Los Angeles unveiled the new patch and court design during their first game (vs. Portland) since Bryant’s death as the NBA rescheduled the January 28th matchup against the Clippers. The Lakers also released a statement on Twitter about Bryant’s death.
We are devastated and have been forever changed by the sudden loss of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna. We send our love to Vanessa, the Bryant family, and to the families of the other passengers.
Words cannot express what Kobe means to the Los Angeles Lakers, our fans, and our city. More than a basketball player, he was a beloved father, husband, and teammate. Their love and light will remain in our hearts forever.
Bryant was 41 years old at the time of his death and his daughter Gianna “Gigi” Bryant was 13 years old. Bryant is survived by his wife Vanessa Bryant along with their three daughters: Natalia, Bianka and Capri.
LeBron Posted a Lengthy Instagram Message Describing Himself as “Heartbroken & Devastated”
Bryant had become especially close with LeBron James since his retirement. James made a lengthy Instagram message describing himself as “devastated” in a post that was as much to Bryant as it was to basketball fans everywhere.
I’m Not Ready but here I go. Man I sitting here trying to write something for this post but every time I try I begin crying again just thinking about you, niece Gigi and the friendship/bond/brotherhood we had! I literally just heard your voice Sunday morning before I left Philly to head back to LA. Didn’t think for one bit in a million years that would be the last conversation we’d have. WTF!! I’m heartbroken and devastated my brother!! ?????. Man I love you big bro. My heart goes to Vanessa and the kids. I promise you I’ll continue your legacy man! You mean so much to us all here especially #LakerNation?? and it’s my responsibility to put this s— on my back and keep it going!! Please give me the strength from the heavens above and watch over me!…Until we meet again my brother!! #Mamba4Life❤️?? #Gigi4Life❤️??
TMZ also reported that James has a new tattoo on his leg to honor Bryant. James revealed his new ink on Instagram before the Lakers-Blazers game.
Lakers GM Rob Pelinka Called Kobe’s Death an “Amputation of Part of My Soul”
Prior to his current role as Lakers GM, Rob Pelinka served as Bryant’s agent. Pelinka opened up about his own grief while celebrating the lives of Bryant and his daughter Gigi.
“There has been an amputation of part of my soul,” Pelinka said, per USA Today. “He was, simply put, the most inspirational athlete of our time. What the world may not know, is that he was also the best friend anyone could ever imagine…She was also an extraordinary, loyal and supportive sister, and a wonderful friend to my children. My son and daughter always left time with Gigi feeling better about life itself.”