Basketball World Pays Tribute to Kobe Bryant

Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash on Sunday

Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant takes a jumper. (Getty)
By Bonnie Stiernberg / January 26, 2020 4:46 pm

The NBA was rocked by the shocking, tragic death of Kobe Bryant on Sunday, and while some were forced to press on and compete in the wake of the news, they took time to pay tribute to the legendary player.

The Spurs and Raptors both took 24-second violations to honor Bryant, while the crowd at the game in San Antonio could be heard chanting “KOBE!”

Meanwhile, the Rockets and Nuggets also held a moment of silence before their game to pay tribute, and P.J. Tucker was spotted with a handwritten message on his shoes — “RIP KB” and “Love you KB 24.”

Madison Square Garden changed its exterior lights to purple and gold, Lakers colors, to pay respect.

Kyrie Irving reportedly left the arena after learning of Bryant’s death and will not play in tonight’s game.

Of course, former and current players alike took to social media to express their shock and sadness. “Words can’t even come close to describing it,” Scottie Pippen wrote. “I started playing ball because of Kobe after watching the 2010 finals,” Joel Embiid tweeted. “That finals was the turning point of my life. I wanted to be like Kobe. I’m so freaking sad right now. RIP legend.”

Bryant’s former teammate Shaquille O’Neal wrote, “There’s no words to express the pain I’m going through with this tragedy of losing my niece Gigi & my brother @kobebryant.”

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