Basketball: Breakers guard RJ Hampton pays homage to Kobe Bryant with tattoo

Breakers guard RJ Hampton has revealed a tattoo paying homage to his late idol and Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant. 

The tattoo on Hampton's calf is of Bryant and his daughter Gianna, who both died in a helicopter crash in the Los Angeles hill last Sunday (NZT).

"Just so wherever I go, they'll know, Hampton wrote in the Instagram caption accompanying the image of his new tattoo.

The Texas native joined the NZ ANBL franchise for the season in lieu of attending college, before he declares for the NBA Draft. A hip injury has sidelined him for the remainder of the Breakers season.

Hampton - who grew up idolising Bryant - posted a tribute to Instagram when he found out his hero had died. 

"Before I wanted to be anything, I wanted to be you," Hampton said in a post. 

"I’m just lost for words, sick to my stomach. My idol. Nah bro my idol. I wouldn’t even love basketball if it wasn’t for you. Yo whaattttt. I just wanted to play in front of you."

Earlier this week, Lakers superstar Lebron James also paid tribute to Bryant with a tattoo on his left thigh.

The tattoo is of a black mamba - the quick-moving snake that became Bryant's nickname. On the snake are both of Bryant's playing numbers, with two roses.

Lebron James' tattoo dedicated to Kobe Bryant.
Lebron James' tattoo dedicated to Kobe Bryant. Photo credit: Image: Instagram

James posted "My brother" with an infinity symbol next to it in the caption.