During the Los Angeles Lakers Saturday night playoff game against the Portland Trail Blazers, LeBron James honored the late actor Chadwick Boseman in a special way. The Black Panther star died on Friday, August 28 after a four year battle with colon cancer.
Paying homage to Boseman’s defining role as King T’Challa in Black Panther, James flashed the Wakanda sign, which became a symbol of Black excellence after the release of the Marvel film, during the National Anthem. During previous games, James had been taking a knee during the anthem, in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.
Following the Lakers win against Portland, LeBron spoke deeply about the loss of the actor during an official press conference.
“It actually felt like we had our Black superhero and nobody could touch us,” James said of Boseman. “To lose that, it’s sad in our community.”
The South Carolina native left his mark by playing some of the most iconic Black figures in history, including Jackie Robinson in 42 and James Brown in Get On Up. He also played Black Panther in the Ryan Coogler-directed film and the Avengers franchise.
The league also paid tribute to former NBA all-star and Sixth Man of the Year Cliff Robinson, who died at age 53 over the weekend. Robinson became an icon not only for his moves on the court, but for his signature headband, a look that James himself famously adopted.
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)