On Sunday January 26 2020, the world lost a sports legend in a tragic helicopter accident. While this blog is typically not a sounding board for current events of this nature, there has been a surge in interest from sports fans looking to pay homage to the Black Mamba who in addition to winning 5 championships boasts a number of NBA records and an Academy Award (short film) to boot. The response to his passing has been much bigger than anyone has expected, with the story taking over Trump Impeachment hearings on CNN, and news programs across the world dedicating an entire day of broadcasting to discuss the tragedy and impact that Bryant had on the world of sports and entertainment. Below we have laid out some tattoo design ideas for heartbroken fans hoping to immortalize the well-tattooed icon in ink.
Tattoo Design Ideas to Honor NBA Legend Kobe Bryant
1. The Man Himself
There is a slang term called posterize in basketball (among other competitive sports) that was born with the G.O.A.T. Michael Jordan. It refers to when a player dunks over an opponent in an emphatic and embarrassing (for the opposing player) fashion. Kobe Bryant had his fair share of posterizing moments over competitors that will serve as a perfect design. Perform a Google image search and take the pic to your tattooist for rendering.
2. No. 8 or 24
Kobe wore both the number 8 and 24 on his LA Lakers’ jerseys. He wore 8 as a rookie and continued to do so until his 10th year when in the 2006-07 season he wore 24 through to retirement. Both jersey numbers hang in the rafters of the Staple Center today. After the news of his passing, the Dallas Mavericks have joined the LA Lakers in retiring the number 24 and other NBA teams are expected to follow suit. Getting the 8 and/or 24 in the Lakers jersey font is a perfect way to pay respects to the Mamba with a small but significant tattoo.
3. Mamba Logo
Kobe’s “Black Mamba” moniker quickly took on its own persona and launched an entire brand, or more importability, a philosophy. The Mamba Mentality is the term Kobe coined to define the level of intense focus and relentless approach he took both in preparation and competition. It soon crossed over into other sports, including the NFL, and is even being applied to business practices. Nike currently uses it on their Bryant-branded gear and on it’s own makes for a great memorial tattoo.
4. Mamba Mentality Quotes
Kobe Bryant’s recently released and best-selling book “Mamba Mentality” is chalk full of inspirational quotes to rev up your competitive juices. These quotes mean more than ever to fans of the legend, and will serve as suitable inked inscription. For example:
“A lot of people say they want to be great, but they’re not willing to make the sacrifices necessary to achieve greatness. They have other concerns, whether important or not, and they spread themselves out. That’s totally fine. After all, greatness is not for everybody.”
(from Kobe Bryant retirement speech, 2016)