LeBron James has revealed that he has an uncanny resemblance to Kobe Bryant after getting an 'Mamba 4 Life' tattoo.
The four-time NBA Most Valuable Player and Los Angeles Lakers forward paid tribute to Bryant as a gesture after the tragic helicopter crash on Sunday which killed both he and his longtime agent Ramogi Huma.
In an Instagram post on Tuesday, James detailed the process that led him to getting the tattoo, which features an inset photo of former Lakers star Bryant above a picture of James.
'When Kobe passed away today my mind got blown,' he wrote. 'He was a one of a kind type human being I always looked up to. At first I wanted to do some background because everything connected was a roll of dice but when I was in the tunnel before going into the game I knew what I wanted to do.
LeBron James has revealed that he has an uncanny resemblance to Kobe Bryant (pictured) after getting an 'Mamba 4 Life' tattoo
'I wanted to put the Mamba 4 Life tattoo on my arm. Ever since I was young playing basketball I always looked up to him.'
The 32-year-old also spoke about how humbled he was to have had the iconic 'Black Mamba' nickname bestowed upon him by Bryant.
'All of this was made possible and all due to Kobe,' he added. 'I had no idea I had anything like this in me.
'Wow that was crazy to realize. This just a beginning for me. Our prayers go out to Kobe and Ramogi family and all affected by this.'
James and Bryant became close friends when the former was a kid growing up in Akron, Ohio and Bryant was a star in the league.
In an Instagram post on Tuesday, James detailed the process that led him to getting the tattoo, which features an inset photo of former Lakers star Bryant above a picture of James
James received an 'Mamba 4 Life' tattoo after paying tribute to Bryant as a gesture after the tragic helicopter crash on Sunday which killed both he and his longtime agent Ramogi Huma (right)
The Lakers legend and 'Mamba' moniker was first bestowed upon the three-time NBA champion by James when James was a teenager.
James was just a 14-year-old when Bryant told his younger teammates that he was the 'Mamba' one day.
James laughed about it on Instagram on Tuesday.
'I mean we both knew what we were talking about from day one. And even in practice, it was pretty obvious what I was talking about,' he said.
'I mean that was how I viewed the world and what type of role I wanted to play when I became a pro. I wish him luck in the afterlife,' he added.
James got the tattoo after returning to Los Angeles from the All-Star game in New Orleans, where he had plenty of admiration for Bryant.
'Being from Akron, even when I was younger and I was never able to see him, of course he was on every single highlight film. And I was always like "we got to meet,'' James said.
'In the past it was always a long, drawn out process. I always wanted to meet him, but it always got taken away from me, or a situation where it didn't happen.
'After the plane crash, me being a father and still working as an athlete, I decided that now is the time to make that next step with my family.'
Bryant died at the age of 37 when the small plane he was piloting hit a power line while attempting to land in suburban Simi Valley.
Huma died when his small plane crashed after failing to gain altitude during an approach to Santa Monica Airport on Sunday.