LeBron James Sports Kobe Bryant 'Black Mamba' Tribute Tattoo

Los Angeles Lakers All-Star LeBron James sported a Kobe Bryant tribute tattoo on his left thigh at practice Thursday, apparently reading “Kobe 4 Life,” or “Mamba 4 Life,” referring to Bryant’s nickname, Black Mamba.

Teammate Anthony Davis appeared to have the same ink — on his right thigh — provided by tattoo artist Vanessa Aurelia. She posted videos Wednesday of her working on both men on Instagram Story. “King James my man,” she said in a caption. 

“It’s that time again!” James posted on his Instagram Story. “Working with my girl @Nessaurelia!!” 

The tattoos were still under clear bandages Thursday, so the details aren’t quite clear. But they feature a black mamba snake to honor Bryant, the Laker legend who died in a helicopter crash Sunday with eight others, including his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna.

James plans a tattoo reveal on social media, TMZ reported, likely before the Lakers face off Friday against the Portland Trail Blazers at Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles. That will be the team’s first game since the fatal crash.

LeBron James and ink artist Vanessa Aurelia post the creation of his Kobe Bryant tribute tattoo.

James posted a heartbreaking tribute Monday to Bryant. The men had spoken shortly before the crash.

“Didn’t think for one bit in a million years that would be the last conversation we’d have,” James wrote on Instagram. “WTF!!” He added: “you mean so much to us all here especially #LakerNation” … Please give me the strength from the heavens above and watch over me.”