LeBron James has a new tattoo on his thigh paying tribute to Kobe Bryant

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It will be an occasion full of emotion when the LA Lakers finally take to the court again for the first time since Kobe Bryant's tragic passing. 

Tuesday's game against the LA Clippers was postponed, but ESPN report that players and coaches instead spent the evening gathered at their training facility in El Segundo, California to share memories of their former teammates. 

Many of them have also been doing that publicly, with LeBron James leading the tributes. 

James' Instagram message following Sunday's helicopter crash, which killed Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others, was particularly poignant. 

The post is on course to become the most 'liked' ever on the platform as he described himself as "heartbroken and devastated". 

"I promise you I'll continue your legacy man! You mean so much to us all here especially #LakerNation," he wrote.

Having since returned to training, James also revealed a new addition to his extensive body art - a Black Mamba on his thigh. 

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Footage of LeBron in training can be seen below: 

Just a day before the accident, the 35-year-old had overtaken his former USA teammate as the NBA's third highest points-scorer of all time during the Lakers' 108-91 defeat to the Philadelphia 76ers. 

James currently stands on 33,655 points, 12 more than Bryant scored in his outstanding career, placing him behind Utah Jazz legend Karl Malone (36,928) and another former Lakers hero, Kareem Abdul Jabbar (38,387). 

Bryant's final post on social media congratulated him on the achievement. 

NBA stars are pledging to continue Bryant's famous 'mamba mentality' which became a codeword for work ethic, perseverance and dedication.

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