Nearing the first death anniversary of Kobe Bryant, tributes are pouring in from his teammates, family and friends. One that stood out ithe most is that of Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving, who played against the Miami Heat on Monday.
Kyrie was a close friend to the Black Mamba and even viewed him as a mentor.
But since the Nets are not playing on Tuesday, marking one year since the tragic death of Kobe, the point guard wanted to make sure that he did something for the Los Angeles Lakers icon--one relating to his wardrobe choice.
Entering Barclays Center for the game against the Heat, Kyrie showed off Kobe's purple and gold no. 8 jersey for his ensemble.
Though basketball players can pay tribute to Kobe, actual NBA teams and the association itself will not be officially addressing the anniversary, as per the Bryant family's request.
Kobe Bryant Death Anniversary Tributes
Lakers star Anthony Davis revealed that the next few days will be emotional for him and the entire team.
He said, "It saddens our hearts actually to come to the realization that he's gone."
One year after Kobe's death, the forward admitted to still having trouble believing that the Black Mamba was gone.
All-Star forward LeBron James also reflected on Bryant's legacy following the Lakers' 101-90 win against the Chicago Bulls last weekend.
"Us being able to remember him and wear the Black Mamba jerseys during the postseason and have the postseason success we had, .. we got a lot of guys that wear his shoes still to this day," LeBron said.
LeBron also shared that though a lot of things "die," "legends never die, and he's exactly that."
Vanessa Bryant's Plea
A few weeks ago, Kobe Bryant's wife, Vanessa Bryant, pleaded on social media that instead of showing the video of his and their daughter's death, they should instead do a media coverage that would honor their lives.
On her Instagram, the mother-of-four asked her followers and the media to "reconsider" looking at the video through the eyes of kids, parents, spouses and families.
On January 26, 2020, Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, and seven other passengers on the helicopter they were riding were killed after the aircraft plunged into a steep hillside in a foggy morning in Calabasas, California.
At the time of his death, Kobe was 41.