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NBA Playoff Preview: Trail Blazers vs Lakers
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The latest tribute to Kobe Bryant and his “Mamba mentality” is coming on Monday night when the Los Angeles Lakers battle the Portland Trail Blazers in Game 4 of their playoff series. Los Angeles players will be wearing “Black Mamba” City Edition jerseys to honor Kobe, who would have turned 42 on Aug. 23.

Kobe co-designed the jerseys, which feature a subtle snakeskin pattern and have 16 stars on the side, representing the Lakers’ 16 championships. They were first shown to the public in the 2016-2017 season. Vanessa Bryant posted photos of the Lakers’ “Black Mamba” jerseys on social media earlier in August, which led to the Lakers’ announcement that players will wear the jersey during the current playoffs.

The Lakers also posted a close-up look at the jerseys:

The updated, 2020 version of the “Black Mamaba” jerseys include a No. 2 inside a heart on the shoulder for Gianna Bryant, who wore that number at Kobe’s Mamba Sports Academy and had aims of playing basketball at UConn and the WNBA. She died in a helicopter crash alongside Kobe in January. 

The Lakers currently lead the Trail Blazers 2-1. Game 4 is on Monday, which has been named “Kobe Bryant Day” in Orange County, California.

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