LeBron James pays tribute to Chadwick Boseman by doing the Wakanda Forever salute before LA Lakers playoff game
LeBron James was among the chorus of people who expressed their grief and sadness over the passing of Chadwick Boseman on Friday.
The basketball great offered yet another tribute to the actor before his LA Lakers hit the court on Saturday to face off against the Portland Trailer Blazers in game five of their playoff series.
During a moment of silence, as the entire Lakers team took a knee in a time of reflection, James crossed his arms in a ‘Wakanda Forever’ salute, which was the trademark gesture of Boseman’s superhero character T’Challa in Black Panther.
Honored: LeBron James paid tribute to Chadwick Boseman before his Lakers took the court to play the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday
The NBA honored Boseman, former Trail Blazers star Cliff Robinson and Hall of Fame college coach Lute Olson with a moment of silence before Saturday’s playoff games in Florida.
The announcer called the actor a ‘close friend of the NBA’ during the tribute.
In a heartbreaking gesture, James dropped his Wakanda Forever salute with his eyes closed.
Eventually the three-time NBA champion pointed up into the sky, seemingly in a last recognition of Boseman.
The empowering salute has been used by everyone from NBA players to tennis athletes and soccer stars since the blockbuster film hit theaters in February 2018.
Emotional: James honored Boseman while he and his teamates took a knee in reflection
Goodbye my friend: The three-time NBA champion pointed up into the sky, seemingly in a last recognition of Boseman
Tribute: The Lakers great remained on one knee during as he showed another sign of respect
James and his Laker teammates locked their arms in solidarity when The Star-Spangle Banner played just before tip-off at at AdventHealth Arena in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
Dressed in a Black Lives Matter sweatshirt, he made several subtle gestures of reflection during the two emotional moments, which included having his head down and eyes closes.
Robinson passed away on Saturday after a year-long battle with lymphoma, his family revealed in a recently released statement. Olson, who was the longtime head coach at the University of Arizona, was 85 when he died on Thursday.
Emotional: The team locked arms in solidarity during the pre-game tributes
In the moment: James made a number of subtle gestures during the events before tip-off
Taking a stand: The three-time NBA champion, and the rest of his teammates, donned Black Lives Matter sweatshirts
Safety first: The 4-time NBA Most Valuable Player wore a protective mask and a shirt recognizing police brutality when he arrived at the arena
James also paid tribute to Boseman in the hours after his death was made public on Friday.
‘Rest In Paradise King! #TheHellWith2020 #FCancer,’ the basketball legend captioned a photo of the two posing together.
Boseman became a household name when Black Panther became a blockbuster hit in 2018, raking-in $1.347 billion at the worldwide box office.
The South Carolina native passed away after a four-year battle with colon cancer.
Sadness and shock: James honored Boseman in the hours after his death on Friday
Sending his love and prayers: James added a prayer and red heart emoji to a picture of Boseman from his appearance on the HBO’s The Shop: Uninterrupted in March
Big win! The Lakers went on to eliminate the Trail Blazers in the first round of the playoffs by beating them 131-122; James had a triple double: 36 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds
RIP: Boseman passed away on Friday at the age of 43 after a four-year battle with colon cancer
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