The Los Angeles Lakers made an announcement on Tuesday, revealing their plan to don their Black Mamba uniforms during Thursday’s home game against the Denver Nuggets in honor of Kobe Bryant.
The decision was shared via a press release, as reported by Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times on social media platform Twitter. The Lakers disclosed their intention to sport the Black Mamba uniforms coinciding with the unveiling of a statue of Bryant outside Crypto.com Arena before the game.
2.8.24: The Mamba Unis Return 🖤 pic.twitter.com/dJVVm8TSJ2
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) February 6, 2024
Bryant, who tragically passed away in a helicopter crash in 2020 at the age of 41, played a pivotal role in designing the Black Mamba uniforms, which were first introduced during the 2017-18 season.
Having dedicated his entire 20-year NBA career to the Lakers and amassing 18 All-Star selections along the way, Bryant stands as one of the most iconic figures in the franchise’s history.
During his tenure, Bryant contributed significantly to the Lakers’ five NBA championships and was honored with NBA Finals MVP accolades twice, in addition to an NBA MVP award.
The Lakers will wear their “Black Mamba” uniforms Thursday on 2/8/24 – the day the Kobe Bryant statue will be unveiled pic.twitter.com/NqTcRkRpAO
— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) February 6, 2024
His remarkable achievements include an average of 25.0 points per game across 1,346 regular-season appearances, securing him the fourth spot on the NBA’s all-time scoring list with 33,643 points.
The Lakers emphasized that Bryant will join an esteemed group of individuals in franchise history to be immortalized in statue form, alongside the likes of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Elgin Baylor, Magic Johnson, Jerry West, Chick Hearn, and Shaquille O’Neal.
While the Lakers typically don their traditional purple and gold attire, the significance of the Black Mamba jerseys extends beyond their association with Bryant, as they were worn during the team’s playoff run in 2020, culminating in their most recent NBA championship victory.
Thursday’s game will see the Lakers face off against the reigning NBA champions, the Denver Nuggets, who currently hold the fourth position in the Western Conference with a record of 35-16.
This matchup also serves as a rematch of last season’s Western Conference Finals, during which the Nuggets swept the Lakers 4-0.
Despite a relatively modest season record of 27-25, LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and the Lakers enter Thursday’s game riding a three-game winning streak, including notable victories against the Boston Celtics and the New York Knicks, who were on a nine-game winning streak at the time.
A win against Denver would send a strong message to the league, underscoring the Lakers’ status as genuine championship contenders despite their record.