Global Soccer Community Reacts
Born in Italy Kobe also shared an affection for the game of soccer. His passing touched many of the game biggest stars who also shared their sadness with fans, like Cristiano, Megan Rapinoe, Leo Messi and teams like AC Milan.
In loving memory of a true legend: Kobe Bryant ❤ pic.twitter.com/4Ysb6FhZeQ
— AC Milan (@acmilan) January 27, 2020
Neymar, after scoring a goal for Paris St.-Germain on Sunday, held up two fingers on hand and four on the other to honor Bryant. Neyman then kneeled and pointed to the sky. (source)
Baseball Players Honor Kobe and Fellow Victim Coach
Many teams and players around baseball created and posted their own tribute to Kobe and the Head Coach of the Orange Coast College Pirates John Altobelli. Players took jumpshots with baseballs to emulate Kobe’s signature shot and mirror the passion Kobe had for the game
For Kobe. #RIPMamba
— Cut4 (@Cut4) January 29, 2020
SNL with Host JJ Watt Even Paid Tribute
— Saturday Night Live – SNL (@nbcsnl) February 2, 2020
In the NFL
On the Eve of the Super Bowl, NFL Players reflected on Kobe and the “Mamba Mentality” showing how his competitive spirit cross the bounds of sports to athletes everywhere. We are expecting a Kobe Tribute tonight at the Super Bowl as well.
"[It] makes you wanna value every moment."
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 2, 2020
Kobe tributes dotted the NHL as well.
- The LA Kings also wore purple-and-gold heart stickers on the back of their helmets with the Nos. 8 and 24, with the words “KOBE” and “GIGI” printed across the top.
- The Kings and the Lightning both hockey teams paid tribute to Bryant as they walked into the arena. The Lightning wore Bryant tribute T-shirts and the Kings wore replicas of Bryant’s NBA jersey.
- Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin was a friend of Bryant’s. He wore a No. 24 jersey during warm-ups prior to his first game following Kobe’s death.
- Ovechkin signed the jersey, and the Kobe & Vanessa Bryant Family Foundation will put it up for auction.
- Anaheim Ducks goaltender John Gibson was motivated by respect and sorrow for Bryant and the victims wore a custom painted mask featuring Bryant’s uniform numbers, 24 and 8 and five gold stars to highlight the years Bryant won championships with the Lakers.
The LA Kings held a special pre-game ceremony to pay homage to Kobe and his legacy.
Ten days later the UFC held their first major event and paid tribute to all nine victims with a 9-second Moment of Silence.
The UFC honored Kobe, Gigi and the other helicopter crash victims with a nine-second moment of silence.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 9, 2020
Kobe’s Team the LA Lakers
The Lakers will not play their Tuesday night match-up with the Clippers, which was postponed until later in the season. Their first game back at Staples was on Friday January 31st and they stepped up with a night full of emotional and touching tributes to the Laker Legend.
USA TODAY reporter Brent Schrotenboer described the atmosphere at the game as “heartsick.” Saying it “seemed to keep getting bigger and sadder and more surreal,” he wrote Friday. (USA TODAY )
- Usher sang a rendition of Amazing Grace.
- Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth paid tribute to Kobe by singing “See You Again.” The song was originally written in 2015 after the death of “Fast and Furious” star Paul Walker.
- Usher’s performance was followed by a beautiful video built around some of Bryant’s greatest moments and quotes accompanied by cellist Ben Hong.
- LeBron James ended the tribute with a heartfelt speech, closing with “Mamba out, but not forgotten.”
- When the starting lineups were announced, all five Lakers were called Kobe Bryant.
- Before the game, the entire Lakers roster came out wearing Bryant’s jersey.
- Gianna Bryant’s Mamba teammates were courtside for the game.
- Lakers will played the following “KB” patch on their jerseys, which was also added to the Staples Center court along with his Number 8 and 24. Those numbers had been previously retired by the Lakers.
The House That Kobe Built pic.twitter.com/1exfvaXnE8
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) January 31, 2020
- Many current NBA players wear No. 8 or No. 24 because of him and were unofficially retiring the numbers. Quinn Cook, who had been wearing number 2, changed to 28, a combination of Gianna’s No. 2 and Kobe’s No. 8. Cook grew up a lifelong Lakers fan.
Lakers left the last seats in the Staples Center that Kobe and Gianna Bryant sat in empty, with their jerseys on the chairs for the game. Roses were placed on the chairs as well.
Perfect from @SeanGrandePBP (radio voice of the Boston Celtics):
"As Celtics fans, we didn’t think Kobe Bryant could break our hearts one more time. We were wrong."
— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) January 26, 2020