The death of Kobe Bryant hit the sports world hard, especially the NBA. Word of Kobe’s death started to trickle in during the afternoon as some games were going on, and others were yet to begin.
You’ve likely read many of the social media posts from athletes after they heard the news, but I found some of the in-game homages to be striking and thoughtful.
To understand, you must know Kobe wore two numbers in his time in the NBA: #8 and #24 — both retired by the Lakers.
In the clip above, you see an emotion Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks start the game with an 8-second back court violation, followed up by a 24-second shot clock violation by the Wizards.
The 8-second and 24-second violation tributes were copied across the league, but it wasn’t just basketball games that saw in-game respect being shown to Kobe.
From the NFL’s Pro-Bowl:
— TV Tube HD (@Live_tv_2019) January 27, 2020
European soccer star Neymar held up Kobe’s 2-4 after his second goal of the match:
— Stadium Astro (@stadiumastro) January 27, 2020
Golf legend Tiger Woods was notified of Kobe’s passing as he walked off the 18th green. He mentioned he heard fans chanting “Do it for Mamba!,” but he didn’t know why until after the match.
Tiger Woods being told about the Kobe Bryant news… pic.twitter.com/sWiKzmtiCk
— Suspended Again (@FTBeard1) January 27, 2020
Tennis’s Australian Open is going on currently, and world #26 Nick Kyrgios paid tribute during warm-ups before his match against Rafa Nadal:
Nick Kyrgios wore a Kobe Bryant jersey and was very emotional before his match with Rafa Nadal at the Australian Open
— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) January 27, 2020
What makes the entire situation even more gut-wrenching was the fact that copter was filled with other souls, including children, one of which was Kobe’s own daughter.
Sports is great in many ways, including the chance to say goodbye in creative and meaningful ways.
RIP to all the people in that helicopter, it was a tough day for many.