The one-year anniversary of the tragic death of Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant has brought back a lot of emotions for many throughout the NBA family and the world as a whole.
Kobe was an icon and inspiration for many of the game’s biggest stars today and they all continue to try and push his legacy forward following his passing last year. With many playing their first games after the one-year mark of his passing there were different dedications from players and teams around the league.
The Philadelphia 76ers were the Lakers’ opponent the night before that tragic day, and this season was their first game the day after the one-year anniversary.
Sixers superstar Joel Embiid has been open about his admiration of Kobe as the first player he ever watched and inspired him to play basketball. As such it should come as no surprise that Embiid decided to wear custom made shoes that paid tribute to Bryant during the Sixers-Lakers game.
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) January 28, 2021
Additionally, the 76ers held a moment of silence before the Lakers contest. Bryant of course, starred at Lower Merion High School in Philadelphia and also helped the Lakers defeat the 76ers in the 2001 NBA Finals, making it a bit of a love-hate relationship between Bryant and the city of Brotherly Love.
But Embiid and the Sixers weren’t the only ones paying tribute to Bryant. Former MVP Stephen Curry also had specialized shoes paying tribute, in particular to Kobe as a father via.
— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) January 28, 2021
Curry, like Kobe, is a proud ‘Girl Dad,’ having two daughters in Riley and Ryan. Along with Curry, fellow Warriors Damion Lee and Kent Bazemore also wore sneakers paying tribute to Bryant.
And unlike some others, Bazemore actually was a teammate of Bryant’s with the Lakers during the 2014 season. Though, it did come in a season in which Kobe played just six games due to a knee fracture.
Jerry West calls Kobe Bryant a legend ‘above the rest’
Someone who developed a close relationship with Kobe before he became the icon he did was Jerry West. The Lakers’ general manager at the time and the man pushing for them to draft Bryant, West was something of a surrogate father to Bryant in his early years and developed an extremely close bond with him.
Reflecting on Kobe following one year of his passing West had nothing but praise and love. West said that Bryant did exactly what he wanted in leaving the game in a better place than it was when he came in and added that Kobe is one of the few iconic figures that stands ‘above the rest.’
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!