Lakers build 24-8 lead as Kobe Bryant tribute on Mamba Day

Photo by Kim Klement-Pool/Getty Images
Photo by Kim Klement-Pool/Getty Images /

On Mamba Day, the Los Angeles Lakers built a 24-8 lead as a fitting Kobe Bryant tribute.

You really can’t make something like this up.

With the world partaking in Kobe Bryant tributes for the Black Mamba’s birthday on Sunday and “Mamba Day” on Monday (8-24), the Los Angeles Lakers provided the most fitting homage to the late NBA legend yet.

Jumping out to a 15-0 lead over the Portland Trail Blazers to begin Game 4, it wasn’t long before the beauty of the Lakers’ hot start became clear. Just a few minutes later, they had extended their lead to 24-8, giving the scoreboard a perfectly fitting tribute to the L.A. great who once donned the No. 8 and No. 24 jerseys in the purple and gold.

The Lakers’ 24-8 lead was yet a great, unplanned nod to Kobe Bryant

With a drive to the basket that drew an and-1, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope put the Lakers up 24-8 midway through the first quarter. As one might expect, Twitter was ablaze with tweets about this unintentional salute to the Black Mamba on Aug. 24.

While emotional highlight compilations and heartfelt videos are great gestures, this might have been the purest tribute yet, if only because it wasn’t planned, it came from the Lakers themselves and it involved dominating an opponent on the court.

2020 has been a brutal year between Kobe’s tragic death, the coronavirus pandemic and widespread social injustice in the United States, but even these kinds of little, seemingly insignificant events can serve as small, feel-good moments.

On Mamba Day, and with Los Angeles looking to take a commanding 3-1 lead in their first-round playoff series, that 24-8 start is exactly the kind of gesture Bryant would have appreciated.

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