Looking back at a few of the Kobe Bryant tributes a week after a tragedy

The Los Angeles Lakers honor Kobe Bryant and daughter Gigi (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
The Los Angeles Lakers honor Kobe Bryant and daughter Gigi (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) /

Looking back at a few of the many tributes that were made for Kobe Bryant a week after the tragedy that shook the world

Number 8 and number 24 were worn by Lakers legend Kobe Bryant. On January 25, 2020, Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna Bryant, John Altobelli, his wife Keri Altobelli, their daughter Alyssa Altobelli, Christina Mauser, Sarah Chester, her daughter Payton Chester and pilot Ara Zobayan were killed in a helicopter crash.

Bryant’s death shocked the world, but the response was nothing like I’ve ever seen for an athlete. Fans traveled to Los Angeles from everywhere to show their respect to the late Bryant. Painted murals, flowers, candles, pictures, jersey’s, t-shirts and basketballs are some of the things I’ve seen outside the Staples Center and all over the world.

As far as other athletes, the tributes have been touching.

Brazilian soccer player Neymar, held up a 2 and a 4 from his fingers after he scored a goal.

In Tennis Nick Kyrgios wore a Kobe Bryant number 8 jersey at the Australian Open before his matchup against Rafael Nadal.

In the NBA most teams took a 24-second violation or an 8-second halfcourt violation to honor both of his numbers.

Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young, who had recently got to know Bryant and his daughter had to play the same day the news was announced about his idol’s death. He started the game wearing a number eight jersey, but when the game was over he finished with 14 assists and 45 points on 24 attempts.

Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo notched the third triple-double in his career with a 20-point, 10-rebound and 10-assist game the day after Bryant’s death.

"“I’m gonna dedicate this one to Kobe man, that’s my role model like I said before it’s sad I pray for his family but that ones for Kobe Bean,” Adebayo said postgame."

That same day the Sacramento Kings were down by 17 points against the Minnesota Timberwolves with three minutes to go in the game. The Kings came back, led by guard Buddy Hield, who wears number 24 because of his childhood hero Kobe Bryant.

Hield had 20 points in the fourth quarter, where he would go 6 for 6 from the field. After the game went to overtime, the Kings would win. Hield scored 42 points on 24 shots for the game. He also joined Kobe Bryant as the only player in the last 20 years to shoot perfect from the floor in a fourth-quarter that his team overcame a 25 point deficit to win the game.

“Kobe was always that guy for me, he made me believe and that’s why I’m here today,” Hield said after the historic win.

76ers center Joel Embiid wore a number 24 jersey in their game against the Golden State Warriors two days after the tragedy. He finished with 24 points and 10 rebounds.

"“Back in 2010 watching the finals, Lakers against Celtics, that was the turning point of my life, watching that NBA Finals, watching Kobe. After watching it I just wanted to be like him, I just wanted to play basketball,” Embiid would tell reporters."

I’m not sure if Kobe knew how beloved he was while he was here, all the people who inspired to work hard and never quit. He was a player who went from air balling shots in the fourth quarter to hitting them all because he put in the work in the gym. He will be missed and the message of perseverance and believing in yourself when other people don’t will never be forgotten.