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Kobe Bryant Day: Southland Honors Lakers Icon Monday

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Lakers giant Kobe Bryant is being honored Monday in Los Angeles and Orange counties, just one day after what would have been his 42nd birthday.

Colorado Rockies v Los Angeles Dodgers
Los Angeles Dodgers and the Colorado Rockies line up with the Dodgers players wearing Kobe Bryant's Los Angeles Lakers jersey in honor of the late superstar prior to the baseball game at Dodger Stadium on August 23, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. The Dodgers are honoring the memories of Gianna and Kobe Bryant. Today would have been Kobe's 42nd birthday. Bryant and his daughter died along with seven others in a January helicopter crash. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

When the Lakers face the Portland Trail Blazers Monday night at Walt Disney World in Orlando for Game 4 of their first-round playoff series, they will be wearing "Black Mamba" jerseys in tribute of Kobe.

In 2016, the L.A. City Council passed a resolution declaring Aug. 24 as Kobe Bryant Day in perpetuity, on the date of the jersey numbers he wore with the team.

Bryant wore the No. 8 his first 10 seasons and 24 for the final 10.

The O.C. Board of Supervisors voted Aug. 11 to declare Aug. 24 as Kobe Bryant Day. Bryant was a resident of Newport Beach.

Vanessa Bryant shared a tribute to her late husband Sunday, writing on Instagram, "I love you and miss you more than I can ever explain. I wish you and Gigi were here to celebrate YOU! I wish I could make you your fav food or a birthday cake with my Gigi."

On the morning of Jan. 26, Kobe, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others were killed when the helicopter they were riding in crashed in the Calabasas hills amid heavy fog.

The L.A. Dodgers honored the memories of Kobe and Gianna Sunday. During ceremonies before the 11-3 victory over the Colorado Rockies, Dodger players donned Kobe's Nos. 8 and 24 jerseys and the team played a tribute video narrated by retired broadcaster Vin Scully.

"Kobe demonstrated that he was a man of many talents," Scully said. "He was a champion, a mentor, a creative force, an advocate.

"Kobe was also a husband and a father to four wonderful girls. The warrior that we knew as 'The Black Mamba' was a sweetheart to his wife Vanessa and a proud 'Girl Dad' to Natalia, Bianka, Capri and his daughter known as 'the Mambacita,' Gianna.

"Gigi was worthy of her dad's nickname. She shared his passion for basketball and so much more. He in turn wanted her to have every opportunity to succeed, and he believed that the women's game deserved as much respect and support as the men received."

Kobe's No. 24 and Gianna's youth basketball No. 2 were painted on the pitcher's mound.

Nike also released a tribute video to Bryant Sunday. A special "Black Mamba" jersey which went on sale Monday quickly sold out.

Bryant played his entire 20-season career with the Lakers, leading them to five NBA titles.

He scored 33,643 points, the fourth-most in league history. Lakers' superstar LeBron James, who had a very close relationship with Bryant, has 34,241 points. He passed Bryant on the all-time list on Jan. 25, one day before the helicopter crash.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)


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