Legendary NBA player Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna passed away in a tragic helicopter crash on Sunday. Both of them were reportedly travelling with seven other people, including a player and another parent. However, the news is not yet confirmed. The 41-year-old Lakers legend was heading to a basketball game when his helicopter crashed. The crash occurred during foggy weather conditions and is currently under investigation.
Looks like every player on the Pelicans roster will wear a pair of Kobe’s during the national anthem as a tribute.— Andrew Lopez (@_Andrew_Lopez) January 26, 2020
Pelicans’ staffers wheeling in shoes down the hallway right now.
Doesn’t matter if they are Jordan or adidas athletes, will wear for anthem and change after.
Pelicans players will be wearing Kobe Bryant sneakers during the national anthem. pic.twitter.com/5cNjqv0PFr— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) January 26, 2020
New Orleans Pelicans and Boston Celtics observed a 24-second silence for Kobe Bryant before the Celtics vs Pelicans game started. His shoes were brought in before the game and the Pelicans wore them for the national anthem. Lonzo Ball wrote 'RIP Gianna' and drew a heart alongside the numbers 8 and 24 on his shoes, honouring both Gianna and Kobe Bryant. Zion Williamson, who had his first career win, spoke about the impact Bryant had on him.
Continuing to move the game forward @KingJames. Much respect my brother 💪🏾 #33644— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) January 26, 2020
Kobe Bryant played with the Lakers for two decades, starting as an 18-year-old rookie in 1996. Bryant retired in 2016, third on the all-time NBA scoring list. He had five NBA championships to his name, winning NBA MVP in 2008. Bryant had a career average of 25 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game. Kobe Bryant even paired up with LeBron James for the Olympics, winning the country two gold medals in 2008 and 2012 respectively.
Kobe Bryant fans gathered around Staples Center, where the Grammys were being held. Players like Dwyane Wade, DeMar DeRozan and Vince Carter spoke about the Black Mamba, remembering everything that they learnt from them. The San Antonio Spurs and Toronto Raptors stopped their game to honour Kobe Bryant, committing a violation on 24 seconds. 24 was Bryant's jersey number for the second half of his career. Dallas Mavericks also paid a tribute to him, stating that no player will ever wear the 24 number jersey in his honour.