PICTURE | LeBron James inks tribute to Kobe Bryant with mamba snake tattoo

LeBron James (Getty Images)
LeBron James (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Los Angeles Lakers superstars LeBron James and Anthony Davis have made personal and permanent tributes to Kobe Bryant.

READ | Kobe Bryant's wife speaks out for first time since husband's death

According to the Stuff website, on the day before their first game since Bryant's tragic death, the Lakers trained outdoors where photographers got a glimpse of James' new tattoo.

With the fresh ink still covered, the exact design is unclear, but it reportedly features a mamba snake with words underneath that some media are reporting to say "Kobe 4 Life".

'Black Mamba' was Bryant's self-created nickname to help create a new mindset and move on following his personal troubles in 2003 when he was accused of rape.

According to TMZ Sports, James and Davis visited renowned tattoo artist Vanessa Aurelia the previous day to brand themselves with Bryant tributes.

Bryant, a Lakers mega star for two decades, was killed in a helicopter crash last Sunday.

WATCH | Kobe Bryant's 81-point game in 3 minutes

James and his Lakers team-mates learned of Bryant's death while flying home from an away game. The players were seen consoling one another when exiting the plane after it touched down in Los Angeles.

Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianni and seven others were killed when his private helicopter went down in California.

Bryant, who idolised Bryant as a teenager and looked to follow his lead in the NBA, is still too distraught to speak to media, but in an emotional Instagram post earlier in the week he pledged to "continue your legacy" when speaking of Bryant's death.

"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," James wrote.

The pair were team-mates for the United States when winning gold at the Olympic Games in Beijing (2008) and London (2012).

Before his death aged 41, Bryant's last tweet was to congratulate James on passing him to become the NBA's third-highest points scorer of all time.

ALSO READ | Petition to make Kobe Bryant new NBA logo passes 2.5 million

View this post on Instagram

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 shit on my back and keep it going!! Please give me the strength from the heavens above and watch over me! I got US here! There’s so much more I want to say but just can’t right now because I can’t get through it! Until we meet again my brother!! #Mamba4Life?????? #Gigi4Life??????

A post shared by LeBron James (@kingjames) on

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
loading... Live
Maritzburg United 1
Lamontville Golden Arrows 0
loading... Live
Bloemfontein Celtic 0
Cape Town City 0
loading... Live
Bloemfontein Celtic 0
Cape Town City 0
loading... Live
Chippa United 0
Black Leopards 0
Voting Booth
What is your favourite sport to watch on TV?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
40% - 14011 votes
13% - 4356 votes
19% - 6509 votes
3% - 898 votes
1% - 336 votes
2% - 808 votes
5% - 1756 votes
9% - 2959 votes
3% - 1212 votes
Water sports
1% - 318 votes
American sports
1% - 433 votes
3% - 1163 votes