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Lakers Reviving Black Mamba Uni for Kobe Statue Unveiling

The Lakers have been planning for a while now to unveil a Kobe Bryant statue outside their arena on Feb. 8, which is this Thursday. Now it turns out that they’ll also be saluting Bryant that night with their uniforms.

The team announced today that they’ll be wearing their popular “Black Mamba” uniforms for Thursday night’s home game against the Nuggets. The uniform, which features a snakeskin pattern and served as the Lakers’ inaugural City Edition design in 2017-18, was co-designed by Bryant and was also intended as a tribute to him. It included an “LA 24” on the waistband and the numbers 8 and 24 under the flaps of the shorts — references to the two uniform numbers Bryant wore with the Lakers. (Both numbers were eventually retired for him, marking the first time a team retired two numbers for the same player.)

Although City uniforms are supposed to be worn for only one season and then mothballed, the Lakers revived the Black Mamba design for the 2020 postseason, and now they’re doing so again on Thursday night.

According to the Basketball Jersey Database, this uniform is one of five black alternate designs that the Lakers have worn over the past decade. Here are the other four, and the years they were worn:

(My thanks to Phil for letting me know about today’s Lakers announcement.)

 
  
 
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Comments (8)

    I wouldn’t be against the Lakers doing a similar tribute yearly. These are the kind of “one off” jerseys that I can support.

    Jennifer from WKRP?
    Pam from Dunder Mifflin?
    Agnes DiPesto from Moonlighting?
    Tiffany from Total Recall?
    (You know, the one that could change her nail color with that futuristic whatchamathingy…and not the one from that crappy Colin What’s-his-name remake…ewww)

    Not to play devil’s advocate here, but are we the only ones that remember that Kobe (“allegedly”,.. eh-hem) raped a girl? Maybe they should auction off the game worn jerseys and donate the funds to a rape victims group.

    From Kobe’s own apology: ” I recognize now that she did not and does not view this
    incident the same way I did. After months of reviewing discovery,
    listening to her attorney, and even her testimony in person, I now
    understand how she feels that she did not consent to this
    encounter.”

    As feeble an apology as it was, that’s his own admission, in his words, and by any definition that’s rape.

    Enjoy your statue, Los Angeles. You must be proud.

    I believe the report was meant to announce that the Lakers were wearing special uniforms the same day the statue is unveiled…
    I believe your beef is with those who are in control of that situation(Lakers owner)…while we here are more concerned about the uniform aspect, there are probably more appropriate sites that discuss things you mentioned…
    After all, a uniform is an inanimate object… unless you’re Peter Parker from The Late ’80s

    DJ’s point is completely valid. He is questioning whether this person deserves the honor associated with the statue and the uniform, which is absolutely an “in bounds” topic of discussion here (just like discussing whether a person deserves to have their number retired, e.g.).

    I’m not saying I agree (or disagree) with DJ; I’m saying there’s no need to police his comment.

    I’ve always believed that only Uni-watch Staff has the bounds to police comments here, and I do not presume that authority…it is your site, Paul, and I was giving my reaction to a comment, nothing else…
    I had noticed how negative the vibe had gotten for comments, and was only trying to bring some positive levity…

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