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