The Cleveland Browns star pass-catcher recently got a massive tattoo celebrating the life of one of his idols and showed it off on social media.
Bryant and his daughter Gianna were among nine people killed in a tragic helicopter crash in January. The shocking death of the Los Angeles Lakers legend transcended the sports world, and weeks after his death, people and organizations are still rolling out memorials.
Bryant retired in 2016 after a 20-year career with the Lakers. He was the third all-time scorer in NBA history before his mark of 33,643 points was surpassed by LeBron James just prior to his death.
Shortly after his passing, Beckham put out a message on Instagram, commemorating Kobe.
“You taught us ALL so many valuable lessons Kobe. Your sacrifice and dedication to this game is somethin that ever athlete can admire. You showed us that there is no substitute for hard work. You’ve been thru it, yet u always found a way to overcame it all. This one hurt beyond words. I still can’t believe it. Somethin I live by and constantly remind myself of is that “Tomorrow isn’t promised.” We’re gonna miss u brother. My prayers go out to the Bryant family and others. 2020 is for u champ, that’s my word!!! Rest easy King. Rest easy GiGi. LUV.”
Odell Beckham Shares Favorite Kobe Bryant Memories
Beckham spoke about his admiration for Bryant in an interview with Complex during Super Bowl week. OBJ said he’s inspired to apply “Mamba Mentality” to everything he does going forward.
“Shaq was like an uncle to me. So growing up, me and my dad watched Kobe and Shaq. And his drive, his work ethic, he shows you that talent can get you as far as talent can get you, but there’s no substitute for hard work, the dedication that he had to the game. And I think that was really his legacy. You know, broken fingers, Achilles, knee, whatever it is, he always overcame it all and he’s always going to find a way to win,” Beckham told Complex. “And he’s going to impose his will on opponents early in the game and with the very last shot of the game. So just that mentality that he had was always to kill, and that’s something that I definitely have in me, and now even more so with what was going on. So definitely inspired even more to do some great things like he did, and the legacy that he left is something that we all can be appreciative of.”
Beckham also shared some of his favorite memories of Bryant.
“There’s some many, it’s hard to choose from, from the buzzer-beaters to matchups with Allen Iverson,” Beckham said. “I think probably one of my favorite moments was seeing him young and just seeing how he was competing against [Michael] Jordan so badly. You can see how badly somebody wants it and how competitive they are and I think that was an early start to show what kind of player he was going to be and what kind of legacy he was going to leave behind.”
Odell Beckham Looking for Bounce Back Year With Browns
Beckham is still considered one of the best wide receivers in the league, capable of incredible athletic feats. However, he’ll have to bounce back after a down year that was defined by injuries.
Despite breaking the 1,000-yard barrier, Beckham did not play up to the wild expectations set forth after the blockbuster trade that landed him with the Browns in the offseason. Beckham finished his first season in Cleveland with 1,035 yards and just four touchdowns.