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Saturday, April 4, 2020

Video: Raptors, Spurs start game with amazing tribute to Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant

The Toronto Raptors and San Antonio Spurs were among the first teams to tip off after news came through of Kobe Bryant’s death in a helicopter crash, and they paid tribute to him in an amazing way.

After winning the tip, Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet simply stood near the timeline and let the shot clock run down, taking a 24-second violation as a nod to one of Bryant’s jersey numbers. On the ensuing Spurs possession, Dejounte Murray did the same as the crowd rose to its feet in a standing ovation while chanting Bryant’s name.

This is a really cool and well-conceived tribute by both teams, and it might be worth replicating in other games. It’s a really neat and respectful way to pay tribute to one of the most influential basketball players of all time. Given how the rest of the basketball world is feeling, expect to see more things like this throughout the NBA.

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Other victims of the helicopter crash:
John Altobelli, junior college baseball coach, also died in helicopter crash
Christina Mauser, girls’ basketball coach, among the helicopter crash victims

Tributes to Kobe:
Dallas Mavericks retire Kobe Bryant’s No. 24 jersey
Video: Raptors, Spurs start game with amazing tribute to Kobe Bryant
Shaq posts heartfelt tribute to Kobe Bryant
Michael Jordan releases statement on death of ‘little brother’ Kobe Bryant
Video: Doc Rivers breaks down crying talking about Kobe Bryant
Phil Jackson calls Kobe Bryant ‘a chosen one’ in statement on his death
NBA commissioner Adam Silver issues statement on death of Kobe Bryant
Video: Dwyane Wade posts emotional message reacting to Kobe Bryant’s death
Kendrick Perkins extends olive branch to Kevin Durant after Kobe Bryant’s death
Video: Emotional Mike Breen sums up NBA world’s emotions about Kobe Bryant’s death
Trae Young’s huge game was full of Kobe Bryant-related statistical coincidences

More coverage:
Media errors, rumors, poor judgment run rampant in reporting of Kobe Bryant news
Kobe Bryant checked in on Shaq’s son Shareef morning of helicopter crash
No, Rick Fox did not die in helicopter crash that killed Kobe, Gianna Bryant
Lakers fans start memorial to Kobe Bryant outside Staples Center
Kobe Bryant’s last tweet was congratulating LeBron James on passing him
Sports world stunned over Kobe Bryant news
Kobe Bryant dies in helicopter crash – dead at 41

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