Ja Morant Pays Tribute To Kobe Bryant With Massive Back Tattoo

Morant's new ink makes reference to Kobe's iconic number and Mamba brand.

BYBen Mock
Los Angeles Lakers v Memphis Grizzlies - Game One

Ja Morant is finally making headlines for something other than Instagram Live drama or fighting teenagers. The Memphis Grizzlies star linked up with @inkednba to showcase his new tattoos. Morant's latest is a full-back tattoo showcasing various chapters of his life. This includes images representing all the teams he's played for (Crestwood High School, Murray State University, the Grizzlies). However, there is also a prominent tribute to Kobe Bryant.

Taking pride of place on Morant's lower back are two images in memory of the late Lakers legend. One is a large replication of the iconic Mamba logo. The other is a large 24 with the word "mentality" written over it. Other new additions to Morant's ink include several gambling motifs, such as dice and cards, along with the phrase "life's a gamble". The series of images shared by @inkednba also include Morant gifting the artist behind the designs, Andreas Ortega, with one of his jerseys.

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Of course, this isn't the first link to Kobe for Morant. In April 2022, Shaq said that Morant reminded him of his former teammate. “He has the ‘it' factor. He knows he's the best guy on the court,” the legendary big man said. “I made this statement a couple of months ago that he reminds me of Kobe — and he does.” However, it was not a comparison that Morant necessarily wanted to endorse. “ I appreciate the love from OG, but I ain’t Bean,” Morant said when asked about the comparison. “There will never be another Kobe.”

However, new tattoos or not, Morant will begin the season on the bench as he serves his 25-game suspension for flashing a gun on Instagram Live. He will rejoin a Grizzlies team that didn't do a whole lot in the offseason as they look to continue their Western Conference rise. The Grizzlies added Derrick Rose in free agency, while also looking to minimize the drama by shipping Dillon Brooks to Houston. Meanwhile, the team acquired Marcus Smart, Josh Christopher, and Isaiah Todd via trades.


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About The Author
Benjamin Mock (they/them) is a sports and culture writer working out of Philadelphia. Previously writing for the likes of Fixture, Dexerto, Fragster, and Jaxon, Ben has dedicated themselves to engaging and accessible articles about sports, esports, and internet culture. With a love for the weirder stories, you never quite know what to expect from their work.