San Diego Padres star Fernando Tatis Jr. will be wearing some custom Air Jordan cleats to honor Kobe Bryant when his team visits the Los Angeles Dodgers this week. The shoes are covered with 4,750 yellow, silver and purple crystals.
The No. 8 and No. 24 are in the back of each shoe to represent the jerseys Bryant wore during his playing career. He wore each number for 10 years during his 20-year Hall of Fame career. To this day, Bryant is still the only Lakers player with two retired numbers.
Bryant and his daughter, Gianna Bryant, died in a tragic helicopter crash in 2020, but the five-time NBA champion's memory still lives on with many tributes honoring him and the famous "Mamba Mentality." Bryant's friend
Bryant was not just the king of Staples Center, which is now Cyrpto.com Arena; he was also well respected at Dodger Stadium. Bryant attended several Dodgers games and even threw the ceremonial pitch in 2000, just a week after the Lakers won the NBA championship by taking down the Indiana Pacers.
Bryant's eldest daughter, Natalia Bryant, threw the ceremonial pitch to Mookie Betts on Sept. 1, when the Dodgers were hosting the Atlanta Braves. The Dodgers gave some lucky fans Bryant-inspired jerseys with a snake pattern in reference to his "Black Mamba" nickname.
Tatis Jr. might be 10 days late to "Lakers Night," but his shoes will likely still be appreciated by the L.A. crowd. The first of the three-game series between the Padres and Dodgers is slated for Monday at 10 p.m. ET.