It's hard to believe that it's only been eight months since Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, died in a tragic helicopter crash. As the NBA starts their long-postponed playoffs, Laker fans will have thoughts of Kobe in their hearts as their team attempts to secure a record-tying 17th championship.
This month, Orange County supervisors declared August 24 the first annual Kobe Bryant Day. The day, which happens to be one day after Bryant's birthday, was chosen as the date is representative of the two numbers Bryant wore as a Laker—8 and 24.
"Kobe Bryant's life, like each one of us who ever lived, presents moments to celebrate and to condemn," supervisor Don Wagner told CBS LA. "Kobe, like all of us, faced challenges, challenges of his own making and challenges thrown at him by life, that he overcome (sic). Today, we celebrate the effort in overcoming those challenges."
Off the court, Bryant's legacy is incredibly complicated, but on the court his talent was undeniable. Even before his passing, Bryant was revered by many fans as one of the best players of his generation. To this fan, I think of Bryant as the bridge between the two greatest players of all time—Michael Jordan and Lebron James.
Even before his passing, people showed their adoration for Bryant through their tattoos. The number of truly astounding portraits of Bryant mid-dunk or with his jersey stuffed into his mouth almost surpasses the number of points he scored during his career. Since that tragic day in January many of Bryant's friends, peers and former rivals have gotten tributes to the Laker great. Even the son of Shaquille O'Neal, with whom Bryant won three consecutive titles, got a tattoo as he was grieving.
In the gallery below you'll find some of our favorite Kobe Bryant tattoos.