The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals and secured the 17th championship in franchise history. Snoop Dogg, a massive fan of the team, celebrated by getting a new tattoo. He immortalized the victory while simultaneously paying tribute to the late Kobe Bryant, who died in a January helicopter crash.
Dogg posted a video on Instagram that showed off the new ink. The massive design covered his forearm and featured Bryant's initials on his wrist, the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy, the Lakers team logo and the gates of Heaven. Dogg then delivered a message of thanks before grabbing his Lakers team jacket. The full video — which features NSFW language — is available below.
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"Laker Nation. Thank y'all Lakers," Dogg said in his video. "And thank you [tattoo artist] Mister Cartoon in a real motherf—ing way. We the West and we the best." Dogg also tagged several members of the team in his post, including LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Rajon Rondo, Kyle Kuzma and Dwight Howard.
Dogg has long supported the Southern California franchise and posted several tributes to the Lakers on social media leading up to and after the pivotal Game 6 matchup with the Heat. One such example showed him sitting courtside wearing a Lakers' sweatsuit that featured Bryant's No. 8. He also posted a video showing him dancing at Staples Center with a drink in his hand, writing "GM! STILL DRINKING AND DANCING!"
The prolific rapper is still celebrating the championship victory on Sunday night, but his new tattoo shows that he isn't forgetting the iconic Bryant. Dogg has long paid tribute to No. 24 since his death, to the point that he joined forces with other celebrities. He was one of many to sign a petition asking the NBA to change the logo to Bryant following the tragic helicopter crash.
The petition surfaced on Change.org shortly after Bryant's death, calling for the logo to change from Jerry West's silhouette to the late Lakers' star. More than 1.7 million people agreed with the idea and quickly added their signatures. Dogg, Justin Bieber, Usher and Meek Mill all showed their support with posts on Instagram. "New logo. [NBA] Let's do what's right," Snoop Dogg wrote on Instagram, sharing concept art for a possible new logo, created by designer Tyson Beck.
The NBA did not change the logo in the immediate aftermath of Bryant's death, instead having to face a different issue. COVID-19 forced the league to suspend all operations for months on end and come up with a safe way to hold the remainder of the season and the playoffs. The league ultimately returned with the Orlando bubble, paving the way for Lakers to win the championship.