The Lakers plan to wear Black Mamba jerseys if team advances to round 2.
Nike is releasing a black and gold Bryant jersey with No. 8 on the front and No. 24 on the back. The jersey is called “Black Mamba” and is set to release on August 24. The Lakers are planning to wear those jerseys to honor Bryant in the NBA Playoffs. However, the Lakers will have to advance to the NBA Playoffs Western Conference Semifinals round, meaning they will have to defeat the Portland Trailblazers in a best of seven series in the first round to get there. Game One tips off on Tuesday.
In Orange County, August 24 is declared as “Kobe Bryant Day” as Bryant resided in the Southern California county. The day takes the two numbers Bryant famously wore for the Los Angeles franchise 8/24. Bryant wore No. 8 ever since the franchise traded for Bryant on NBA Draft night in 1996, acquiring the high school prospect in a trade with the Charlotte Hornets. Bryant would later change his number to 24 the 2006-2007 season and wore that until he retired at the end of the 2015-2016 season. No. 24 was the first number Bryant wore in high school before switching to 33.
Bryant infamously won his first three NBA championships with Shaquille O’Neal wearing No. 8 and scored 81 points against the Toronto Raptors on January 22, 2006, the final season he wore No. 8. That 81-point game still remains as the second most points scored in a single game, trailing only Wilt Chamberlin’s 100-point game. When Bryant won his final two NBA Championships, without O’Neal, he wore No. 24 and dropped 60 points in his final career game in a number 24 uniform.
The Southern California proclamation day takes place one day after what would have been Bryant’s 42nd birthday.