The Toronto Raptors and San Antonio Spurs Started Game with Tribute to Kobe Bryant
The moment honored Kobe Bryant's retired jersey number
Just hours after NBA legend Kobe Bryant was killed in a tragic helicopter crash alongside his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, current pro players took a moment to honor the 41-year-old during the Toronto Raptors and San Antonio Spurs game.
Following the opening tipoff, both teams let the shot clock expire, leading to 24-second violations on each of the team’s first possessions, USA Today reported. One of Bryant’s two retired jersey numbers was 24.
The game was Sunday’s second of the day, and preceded the Brooklyn Nets, for which player Kyrie Irving will reportedly miss due to personal reasons, according to The Athletic reporter Shams Charania. Charania noted that Irving and Bryant were good friends.
Other teams also honored Bryant, with the Denver Nuggets and the Houston Rockets holding a moment of silence ahead of their Sunday game.
Bryant was reportedly traveling with at least three other people in his private helicopter when it went down, according to TMZ. A rep for Bryant also confirmed to TMZ that his daughter Gianna, 13, was killed in the crash.
Emergency personnel responded but no one onboard survived. The outlet says that Bryant’s wife, Vanessa Bryant, was not onboard.
Spokespersons for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and L.A. Police Department did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
Sources told ESPN that the helicopter was headed to a travel basketball game for Gianna, and that the other passengers were another player and their parent.
Tributes have poured in for Bryant, including from some of his former teammates and opponents.
Wrote fellow Lakers alum Shaquille O’Neal, “There’s no words to express the pain Im going through with this tragedy of loosing my neice Gigi & my brother @kobebryant.”
“I love u and u will be missed. My condolences goes out to the Bryant family and the families of the other passengers on board. IM SICK RIGHT NOW.”