Kobe Bryant Day is a new phenomenon. It was only recently anointed in Southern California to honor the Lakers legend who died in a tragic helicopter crash in January. Bryant's two uniform numbers are No. 8 and No. 24. Therefore, the 24th day of the eighth month (August) was chosen to celebrate the legacy of one of the greatest players in NBA history. And wouldn't you know it, the Lakers found a way to honor the departed legend on the floor in ways both intended and accidental.
The Lakers chose to wear their "Black Mamba" uniforms for Game 4 of their first-round series against the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday. Those uniforms were designed by Bryant himself. But what happened in the game itself took things to another level. The Lakers roared out to a 15-0 start against the listless Blazers. From there, the two sides played roughly evenly. When the dust settled? The score reached a fitting total: Lakers 24, Blazers 8.
If Bryant could comment himself, he would likely say that the dominant Laker performance means far more to him than the symbolic score itself. Bryant spent his career pushing the idea that winning is all that matters, and so far, the Lakers have made him proud with their stellar play against the Blazers, one of his former rivals.
Bryant will be a looming presence over this entire playoff run for the Lakers. The team has worn "KB" patches on their uniforms since his death, and given all the team has endured this season, the idea of winning the championship in Bryant's honor likely means quite a bit to this team.