LeBron James Wears Subtle But Powerful Tribute To Kobe Bryant During First NBA Game — See Pic

Kobe Bryant was with LeBron James in spirit during the Lakers' NBA restart game. LeBron revealed a small, yet poignant way he was paying tribute to his late friend before the game began.

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Kobe Bryant is gone, but never forgotten. LeBron James made sure to bring a reminder of his late friend with him to the first Los Angeles Lakers game of the NBA restart, acknowledging the legend with a small tribute. LeBron, 35, revealed on Instagram before the July 30 game that he would be wearing a small, purple band on his left middle finger, embroidered with a yellow “24.” That, of course, was the number on the back of Kobe’s jersey during his storied Lakers career.

LeBron posted a photo on Instagram, which you can see above, that shows his crossed hands. Along with the Kobe finger band, he’s wearing “I Promise” wristbands on both arms. LeBron is rarely without them; they’re to remind him of the promises he’s made through The LeBron James Family Foundation to help kids. He captioned the pre-game photo, “Stucc in the Grind! The Marathon Continues tonight and forever. Let’s Get It!” adding a crown emoji.

Kobe and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna Bryant, died in a helicopter crash in January while en route to one of her basketball games at the Mamba Academy. After their tragic deaths, LeBron honored his fallen friend with countless tributes. Days after Kobe’s death, LeBron was spotted with a fresh tattoo on his left thigh of a black mama snake, a reference to Kobe’s nickname in the NBA.

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L-R: Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, and Kobe Bryant pose with their gold medals at the 2012 Olympics (AP Images)

LeBron revealed in February that he and his Lakers teammates were on a plane when they found out about his “brother” Kobe’s death. He was the one that had to break the news to everyone else. In shock, he led a prayer circle. “It was just off the top of my head, just off the cuff,” LeBron told ESPN. “I think it was needed for us to come together and just give thanks to the man above.”