LeBron James has commemorated the late Black Panther actor Chadwick Boseman who tragically passed away at the age of 43 following a battle with colon cancer. The NBA superstar was seen giving the ‘Wakanda Forever’ salute ahead of the August 30 Lakers game. A moment of silence was observed in honor of the Marvel star‘s untimely death, before the start of Game Five at the 2020 NBA Playoffs, currently being played in Florida. At a press conference following the game, LeBron said 2020 was “the sh**tiest year”, telling reporters, “It actually felt like we had our black superhero and nobody could touch us. To lose that, it’s sad in our community. To lose Black Panther and Black Mamba in the same year — 2020 is the sh**tiest year.”
Of course, he wasn’t alone in mourning both Chadwick and the Black Mamba aka Kobe Bryant, who lost his life in a helicopter crash on January 26. “Losing Black Panther and Black Mamba in this of all years feel like some terrible, tragic movie script,” one Twitter user wrote on August 29, while others were simply in disbelief that two such prolific Black role models were lost in the same year. “We lost Black Mamba and Black panther in the same year. 2020 is on some other sh*t. Rest in Power Chadwick Boseman. Wakanda Forever,” a fan wrote on Twitter.
Chadwick lost his fight with colon cancer on Friday, Aug. 28: a battle he hid from the world for four years. The actor was diagnosed with the disease in 2016 when it was in stage III, and managed to keep fighting for four more years until it reached terminal status in 2020. “It is with immeasurable grief that we confirm the passing of Chadwick Boseman,” his family wrote in a heartbreaking tweet.
“A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much. From Marshall to Da 5 Bloods, August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and several more, all were filmed during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy.” Shortly after the news of his death broke, tributes began pour in from friends and fans alike, including his fellow Marvel stars who were heartbroken by the news of their friend and colleague’s passing.