"The warrior that we knew as the Black Mamba was a sweetheart to his wife Vanessa and a proud #girldad," Vin Scully said in a tribute video

By Karen Mizoguchi
August 23, 2020 04:14 PM
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Credit: Jerritt Clark/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Dodgers honored Kobe Bryant on what would've been his 42nd birthday.

Ahead of the team's game against the Colorado Rockies on Sunday, the Dodgers wore Bryant's Los Angeles Lakers jersey on the field and during a pre-game video that paid tribute to Bryant, an NBA icon who played with the Lakers for the entirety of his 20-year basketball career.

Also on the pitcher's mound were the numbers 2 and 24, which were Kobe's 13-year-old daughter Gianna and his jersey number, respectively.

On Jan. 26, Kobe, Gianna, and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. The crash also claimed the lives of 13-year-old Payton Chester, Sarah Chester, 46, 14-year-old Alyssa Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, 46, John Altobelli, 56, Christina Mauser, 38, and the helicopter's pilot Ara Zobayan, 50.

Kobe and Gianna are survived by beloved wife and mother Vanessa Bryant as well as Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and 14-month-old Capri.

Credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

The five-time NBA champion was a big Dodgers fan. He previously announced the Dodgers' starting lineup for Game 4 in the 2018 MLB World Series.

Since Bryant's death, many Dodgers players have paid tribute to the late NBA star.

Before a game in late July, third baseman Justin Turner wore a blue shirt with a picture of Bryant on it.

"He was so ambitious about that stuff and had huge plans and you don’t see that a lot of times from superstars when their careers are over," Turner told the Los Angeles Times, a day after Bryant's death. "They just get what they get and want to sit back and relax and enjoy the fruits of their labor, and he wasn’t that guy. He wanted to continue to grow his legacy and be known for more than just a basketball player."

Pitcher Clayton Kershaw admired Bryant's L.A. legacy. "What everybody said about him, you just felt that in the room," he said, also on Jan. 27. "As far as his presence and just what he meant to this city. Being here now and playing sports here for the last 12 years, everybody talks about Kobe. That's like the guy. And so you feel for everybody. You feel impacted even though you didn't know him just like the millions of people that are watching him playing basketball. To his wife and daughters, I just feel terrible. I hope that they can find some comfort in the legacy he left and just the millions of people that he impacted."