• Lakers plan to wear "Black Mamba" jerseys in honor of Kobe Bryant in the playoffs
  • The team will wear the jerseys if it manages to get past the Western Conference first round
  • The Lakers will face the Blazers on Tuesday

In honor of the late, great Kobe Bryant, the Los Angeles Lakers plan to wear “Black Mamba” jerseys if they manage to beat the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs, which tip off Tuesday.

The entire NBA community was shocked by the untimely death of the former NBA superstar in January. The team took on the Blazers in its very first home game after the death of Bryant, who, along with daughter Gianna and seven others, perished in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif.

At the time, LeBron James and the entire Staples Centre paid tribute to Kobe. Now, nearly seven months later, the Lakers will once again pay homage to one of the greatest players of all time.

This year’s NBA playoffs are already set, and if the Lakers advance past the first round against Portland, they will be wearing “Black Mamba” jerseys in honor of Bryant in some games of the succeeding rounds, Los Angeles Times’ Brad Turner reported.

The jersey is a collaboration between Bryant and Nike called the “Lore Series” look. It was first introduced in 2018.

Photos of the black and yellow jersey showed its snakeskin design, a reference to the black mamba snake Bryant got his moniker from. Nike will release the Lakers jersey on Aug. 24 in line with “Mamba Week,” which will start on Aug. 23, Kobe’s 42nd birthday.

Meanwhile, after months of planning, Nike has finally confirmed its commitment to celebrating the legacy of Bryant through product releases. The company has decided to push through with the campaign to ultimately take part in funding youth sports initiatives.

“As a part of championing Kobe’s legacy, the Nike Foundation will make a $1 million donation to the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation in memory of Kobe and Gianna,” Nike wrote.

During Mamba Week, Nike is expected to release several colorways of the Kobe 5 Protro, the sneaker worn by Bryant throughout the 2009-10 NBA season when he won his fifth and final NBA championship.

“The foundation, whose mission is to make a positive impact through sports, will use these funds to further Kobe's goal of keeping kids active and putting them on a path to success in life,” the company added. “Nike will also continue to work with the NBA to release limited quantities of Bryant's iconic Los Angeles Lakers jersey.”

Sources told ESPN Nike has done all this in coordination with the Bryant family.

The Lakers haven’t had much success since the NBA restart. However, the team held on to its first seed spot in the playoffs and will battle the Blazers in a best-of-seven series in the Western Conference first round.

The death of Kobe Bryant shocked fans and players around the world
The death of Kobe Bryant shocked fans and players around the world GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Harry How