LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Kobe Bryant may be gone, but he was not forgotten by athletes and teams across the globe Sunday.
News of Bryant’s death in a helicopter crash that also killed his 13-year-old daughter Gianna drew tributes by athletes beyond the Los Angeles Lakers and across sports.
Tennis player Nick Kyrgios wore Kobe Bryant’s gold #8 jersey, wiping his eyes, as he walked into the Australian Open Monday. He lost to tennis great Rafael Nadal, but given the news of the basketball icon’s death, Kyrgios seemed to shrug it off.
“Obviously today was horrendous, like the news [about Bryant], but I want to keep going in this direction for sure,” he told ESPN.
Young NBA players like former Laker Lonzo Ball, the Clippers’ Montrezl Harrell, and Atlanta Hawks’ Trae Young scrawled Bryant’s name on one shoe and Gigi, for Gianna, on the other during their respective games Sunday night. New Orleans Pelicans player Jaxson Hayes wrote “Mamba Mentality” on his shoe. The practice spread across the league for Monday night’s games.
— Dallas Mavericks (@dallasmavs) January 28, 2020
Several players committed 24- and 8-second violations in honor of Bryant.
24 and 8 for No. 24 and No. 8 pic.twitter.com/dUzZ1mX3RE
— LA Clippers (@LAClippers) January 26, 2020
Madison Square Garden and the Empire State Building in New York were lit up in purple and gold in honor of the lifelong Lakers star, while tributes were aired for Bryant at stadiums in Las Vegas, New Orleans and Oregon before college and NBA games.
The Dallas Mavericks retired their No. 24, even though Bryant never played for the team.