Lil Wayne was undeniably a vital part of this year's ESPY Awards ... the Young Money rap star had every athlete in the building rocking when he opened the event with a sports-themed rendition of his classic banger "A Milli!!!"
Backstage, Wayne and Quavo dapped it up, and we're told it was the first time they've seen one another since Lil Weezyana Fest last year -- which, tragically, was Takeoff's final show before he was killed.
We're also told Wayne's choice of attire was intentional -- he repped for the late Kobe Bryant in a "Mamba Mentality" sweater, and also donned an LSU hat to signify women's accomplishments ... most notably Angel and Flau'jae Johnson, who has a song collab with Wayne dropping soon.
Wayne's position in the sports world will likely keep blossoming ... he's rumored to be joining Skip Bayless as a special cohost on "Uninterrupted" next season!!!