PHILADELPHIA - The Philadelphia 76ers remembered NBA legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven other victims ahead of their game against the Golden State Warriors Tuesday night.
The entire team wore No. 8 and No. 24 in his memory and marked the home court with his Lower Merion High School number 33.
Ben Simmons had "Mamba Forever" and "RIP Gigi" on each sneaker.
Prior to Tuesday's game, Joel Embiid called Bobby Jones to get permission to wear No. 24 to honor Bryant.
❝ I got a call today from Joel. He explained to me how growing up in Africa, Kobe was a guy who he looked up to as the star of American basketball at that time, and he is the player who made Joel want to play basketball. I shared with Joel that Kobe, in addition to doing all that scoring, was a 12-time All-Defensive player. I only made it 11 times, so there’s a lot of defense that goes into that no. 24. I told Joel to play hard defense, because that is what the no. 24 represents in my mind. I thanked him for the call, and I’m glad he and I had the chance to talk. ❞ - Bobby Jones
A moment of silence was held and the bell rang nine times to recognize the nine lives lost in the helicopter crash in Calabasas.
Since Bryant’s passing, friends and fans have found countless ways to honor the late star and his daughter.
The 76ers released a statement Monday on Bryant's untimely passing:
"The Philadelphia 76ers organization mourns the losses of NBA icon Kobe Bryant, his daughter, Gianna, and all of those who passed away tragically today in an accident in California. Bryant, one of the most decorated players in NBA history and a global ambassador for the game, made an everlasting mark on our league.
His determination, passion to win and fierce competitiveness fueled the Los Angeles Lakers to five NBA championships and inspired millions of people around the world. Bryant’s journey to icon status in the world of basketball included deep ties to the Philadelphia region, where he starred at Lower Merion High School from 1992-96.
As he honed his craft in Philadelphia, Bryant established a reputation as a player with once-in-a-lifetime poise, grit, heart and an unwavering love of the game. While his imprint on the game of basketball will be etched in the history books forever, Bryant will also be remembered for his love of his family, commitment to community through his philanthropic work, and for being an innovative leader in business."
The NBA legend attended Lower Merion High School, where he led his team to the 1996 Pennsylvania state championships. He was widely recognized as a highly talented and versatile player, while just in high school.
He played for his varsity team in his freshman year and played all five positions at various times in his high school career. Bryant went straight to the NBA after graduating from Lower Merion. He worked out with the Philadelphia 76ers, was selected by the Charlotte Hornets, but was traded to the Lakers.
Bryant remained committed to his roots, dedicating a gymnasium at Lower Merion High School. He was an avid supporter of the school’s girls and boys teams.
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