On the anniversary of the memorial and Celebration of Life ceremony held at Staples Center for Kobe and Gianna Bryant last year, Montrezl Harrell paid his respects by wearing a pair of custom sneakers for the Los Angeles Lakers’ matchup with the Utah Jazz.
The sneakers were primarily black with the Lakers gold painted through different sections and the laces in purple. The right toe box featured Bryant’s No.s 8 and 24 along with his trademark logo, while the left toe box has a capital “M” encircled by a pair of mambas.
The right shoe features a smiling Bryant in a gold Lakers jersey, while the left depicted Gianna in her black Mamba Academy jersey. Both shoes have the names of the victims written on the inside, a touching tribute to all the families affected by the tragic accident.
Harrell has spoken in the past how the death of Bryant has affected him, admitting it is even more difficult to process the events because they happened on his birthday. Now a member of the Lakers, Harrell dons the same uniform Bryant did and has a natural connection to the icon himself.
Harrell is not the only player who continues to pay tribute to Bryant, as several superstars like LeBron James, Stephen Curry, and Joel Embiid have honored him via artwork or wearing similar custom sneakers. The Lakers as a team also still close out their huddles with “Mamba” as a way to keep Bryant’s spirit with them.
It is impossible to capture what Bryant meant to the NBA and the game of basketball as a whole, but the current generation of players has made sure that his legacy and influence will never be forgotten.
Kyrie Irving calls for Kobe Bryant to be new NBA logo
A year after Bryant’s death, the NBA has done several tributes and gestures to honor the future Hall of Famer. However, Kyrie Irving believes the league can do more and proposed they change the NBA logo to one of Bryant.
Jerry West has served as the league’s logo, but even the fellow Lakers icon is on board with letting someone else take that honor. Of course, doing so would bring about licensing and permission issues.
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