Kobe Bryant tragically passed away alongside his daughter and seven others in a helicopter crash last weekend. Basketball fans around the world were devastated by the news and tributes have been pouring in ever since. On Friday night, the Lakers played their first game since his passing and offered what was a phenomenal and emotional tribute.
Heading into the All-Star Game, the league has some interesting plans to honor Kobe’s legacy. The fourth quarter won’t be timed and instead, the final score will be the leading team’s score after three quarters, plus 24. From there, LeBron James’ team will wear the number two to honor Gianna Bryant while Giannis Antetokounmpo’s squad will wear 24. Recently, NBA commissioner Adam Silver spoke about Bryant’s passing and how the league has responded to it all.
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Per Adam Silver via K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago:
“It’s celebratory but emotional. This is what makes these great athletes such special people too. I think what we forget sometimes as fans is that this is a very public mourning period. But at any given time, in a league of 450 players, dozens of coaches, hundreds of league executives, somebody is invariably going through some sort of personal tragedy — most often not known to the public. Yet our players and teams continue to compete. It’s in some ways why these athletes are so inspirational to people. And Kobe in particular because Kobe was all about competition, maybe more than any player I’ve known in the league. Not to take anything away from the greatest players ever, but his off-the-floor work ethic was beyond belief to other players in some cases.”
Tragic events can never be easy to deal with although the players have done an amazing job handling the grief. Kobe was like a family member to many of these players who are trying to carry on his legacy every single game.
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