LA Lakers plan Kobe Bryant ‘Black Mamba’ jersey tribute in NBA play-offs

If the Lakers advance past the first round of the play-offs against the Portland Trail Blazers, they plan to wear the Black Mamba jersey in honor of Kobe Bryant during the following rounds.

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The jersey was co-designed by Bryant and it features a snakeskin print on the outside with black interior and 16 stars on the side panels. The Lakers have won 16 NBA championships, and Bryant played on five of those title-winning teams.

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Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven others died in a helicopter crash in January.

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The top-seeded Lakers and LeBron James and Anthony Davis open their first-round best-of-seven series Tuesday night against Portland and their dangerous backcourt of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum.

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The Lakers Anthony Davis is wary of the treat posed by league’s hottest team, even though the Lakers are heavy favourites against Portland.

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“They were playing well,” Davis said. “They’ve been playing extremely well. They did everything in their power to make the play-offs. They’re a good team. They’re hot right now. It’s definitely going to be a test for us but a good test. We’re going to be ready to go out there and compete.”

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On Sunday the Lakers held their first practice since learning the identity of their first-round opponents. Portland secured the eighth seed on Saturday by beating the Memphis Grizzlies.

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