It's been nearly eight months since one of the greatest basketball players of all-time, Kobe Bryant, tragically lost his life in a horrific helicopter accident.
Time continues to move on, but those who loved and were impacted by that man known as "The Black Mamba" continue to mourn.
As a tribute to Kobe, the NBA 2K franchise announced he would be one of three cover athletes for their latest installment.
One of the other cover athletes: Portland's Damian Lillard.
Lillard's affect on the game wasn't just on the cover and on the virtual court, it was in the soundtrack as well.
On August 24th Lillard dropped a hint about a special song he recorded for the game as a special tribute to Kobe.
When I found out I was gonna be on the @NBA2K cover the same year Kobe was on the legends cover, I decided use my access to the 2K soundtrack to pay tribute to Kobe through music.— Damian Lillard (@Dame_Lillard) August 24, 2020
"Kobe" featuring @SnoopDogg and @DerrickMilano drops exclusively in #NBA2K21 on 9/4. #MambaForever pic.twitter.com/B8lZcNyHdl
The track was exclusive to 2K and debuted with the game on September 4th. The song was a hit and due to popular demand, Lillard released the track on all major streaming services on September 10th.
The response to my Kobe tribute track I did for #NBA2K21 has been so positive. Lots of y’all have been asking me to put it on streaming services. The wait is over. Kobe featuring @SnoopDogg and @DerrickMilano drops tonight at 9pm PT/Midnight ET on all major streaming services. 🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/h9ciLEobnD— Damian Lillard (@Dame_Lillard) September 10, 2020
The track features Lillard (Dame D.O.L.L.A), Snoop Dogg and Derrick Milano, and the power of the song is felt right from its opening chorus.
"Ever since a young boy I've been getting buckets. Ever since a young boy I've been getting buckets. Pull it back, KOBE!"
"Kobe." We have all yelled that while shooting alone in our driveway, at the rec, or when we throw a piece of trash into the garbage. So it's only fitting for it to be the power part of the chorus.
After the opening, Lillard comes in, "Rest in peace to the Mamba and baby Gigi. Still remember where I was standing after the threepeat... who you know shoot the freebie after they tear Achilles? Killer. No. 8 was crazy, but 24 was scary."
The song only gets better from there.
The track is strong by itself, but it's made even better as an incredible tribute to one of the greats.
[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Blazers Podcast with hosts NBA Champion Channing Frye and Emmy Award winner Dan Sheldon].