Kobe Bryant Tribute Tattoo
In a shocking turn of events, basketball superstar and well known public figure Kobe Bryant died alongside his 13 year old daughter Gianna and 2 of her own basketball teammates in a Helicopter crash.
The group was headed to a game where Kobe was meant to coach Gianna’s team.
Kobe Bryant had many fans who looked up to him and were devastated by the news.
Because Kobe wore many tattoos himself, it seems natural that tattoo artists are now overwhelmed with requests for Kobe Bryant memorial pieces.
Steve Butcher, who tattoos out of Corona California, posted an ongoing Kobe piece he was working on with a client before the tragic death of the basketball star.
The post was meant as a tribute to Bryant and an acknowledgement of his contributions to the game.
Soon after however, he was immediately flooded with over 300 requests for similar pieces.
So let’s explore two topics: for those looking to get a Kobe tattoo- how do you best pay your respects?
And for those who weren’t aware of the basketball player before all this, what does a Kobe Bryant tattoo represent?
Kobe Bryant Tattoo Ideas
When contemplating your tribute tattoo, it’s important to think of the person you are commemorating.
What was their style, what did they like?
Kobe Bryant’s tattoos give us a clue into what he was into, aesthetically.
Keep it Simple
Kobe’s tattoos are all done with black ink, and there isn’t much detail to them.
He didn’t favor anything ornate.
Like his style on the court, Kobe’s tattoos were bold and striking.
Don’t be Afraid to get Sentimental
Kobe’s tattoos are bold and masculine, but they are all extremely sentimental.
He had feminine elements woven into his designs including angel wings, a butterfly crown, and a diamond.
He also favored script and had the names of his daughters, his wife, and his favorite bible passage.
Kobe had Psalm XXVII tattooed on his right arm. The passage reads as follows:
“The Lord is my light, and my salvation: whom shall I fear?”. The Lord will give me both knowledge of Himself, and salvation: who shall take me from Him? “The Lord is the Protector of my life: of whom shall I be afraid?” The Lord will repel all the assaults and snares of mine enemy: of no man shall I be afraid.
Kobe Bryant didn’t get any tattoos for their own sake, he only celebrated the things and people that meant the most to him.
Think about why you idolize your favorite player so much, and how you can make that clear in your tattoo.
Small Kobe Bryant Tattoos
Kobe Bryant Portrait Tattoos
Black & Grey Kobe Bryant Tattoos
Symbols in Kobe Bryant Tattoos
Numbers 8 or 24
Kobe played under these numbers during his basketball career.
His sister Vanessa got a tattoo of the numbers 2 and 24, 2 being the number on his daughter Gianna’s jersey.
While Kobe worked to confront his actions during his 2003 sexual assault case, he re-invented himself as “Black Mamba.”
This was inspired by a viewing of Kill Bill with a character by the same code name.
When Kobe saw a scene with the black mamba snake in the film, he looked up the creature and decided to spiritually “shed his skin” and start anew.
Kobe made a public apology to the young woman he assaulted and asked that fans not question her motives for coming forward.
He then re-committed himself to his wife and family, working to be a better man.
Vanessa’s memorial tattoo also has a snake in the shape of the infinity symbol to commemorate this transition in Kobe’s life.
If you’d like something a little more subtle but still very much tied to Kobe’s legacy, you might want to get a Lakers logo as your tattoo.
This way you can show your appreciation for the whole team.
Kobe Bryant Tattoo Meanings
Kobe has a complicated legacy, but there’s a reason people admire him so much.
Taking on Kobe’s image as a tattoo can represent the following:
Kobe was well known as a hard worker who never took a night off.
He also played for the same team throughout his 20 year career- which was unprecedented.
Kobe trained harder than anyone else.
He wanted to be the best and knew the work required to achieve that.
He spent all his spare time in the gym, and he was soaked in sweat by 5 a.m. every day.
A Kobe Bryant tattoo can serve as a reminder that the best things in life are worth working for.
Kobe saw negativity as an opportunity.
He took on as much responsibility as he could on the court, and never phoned it in or relied on the strength of others.
He owned up to his actions when he needed to.
Kobe Bryant Tattoo Designs
If Kobe meant a lot to you, you should find a way to commemorate him and the things he inspired you to do.
Maybe the way to do that is a tattoo, but you’re still coming up with ideas?
Check out our gallery of the best Kobe Bryant tattoos on the web.
Realistic Kobe Bryant Tattoos
Black-work Kobe Bryant Tattoos
Illustrative Kobe Bryant Tattoos
Single Needle Tattoos