AP file photo

Great Clips of the Week: From Neymar to the NBA, tributes pour in for Kobe Bryant, daughter

By Sean Walker, KSL.com | Posted - Jan. 27, 2020 at 11:03 a.m.



A SOMBER REALITY — The day that basketball star, businessman, philanthropist and world celebrity Kobe Bryant was one of nine people killed in a helicopter crash in Southern California was a somber day, not just in the NBA but around the world.

But it was also a work day, and the show had to go on.

Here's a roundup of some of the tributes to the late Lakers legend. As always, click the video above for more Great Clips of the Week.

24 for 24

With eight games around the league, the NBA simply couldn't afford to cancel or rescheduled its work day — even with an event the magnitude of Bryant's death.

So, as the saying goes, the show must go on.

And players, coaches, referees and fans around the league found their own ways to commemorate the fallen legend and his daughter Gianna.

Take the Spurs-Raptors, where Fred VanVleet opened the game by taking consecutive 24-second shot-clock violations for Toronto in honor of the legendary No. 24. San Antonio responded in kind, with coach Gregg Popovich standing and applauding the decision with his bench, and every fan in the arena standing in unison with chants of "Ko-BE! Ko-BE!"

It was quite a sight to behold.

The Clippers, Magic, Pelicans and Celtics all followed suit.

Over in Atlanta, Trae Young honored his fallen idol by switching his jersey to No. 8 — the number Bryant originally wore with the Lakers. Young was a favorite player of Bryant's daughter Gianna, and the two communicated frequently as Kobe's 13-year-old rose through the ranks of youth basketball.

Young then took an 8-second backcourt violation, dedicating it to the memory of Bryant, to add another spin to the tribute.

'Never again'

In Dallas, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has been a noted fan and friend of Bryant, even while he terrorized his own teams during his career.

So within a few hours of the crash, Cuban issued an organizational edict retiring the No. 24 jersey in Dallas.

The occasionally-divisive owner issued a statement about the Bryants' passing along with the jersey retirement through Mavericks PR.

"We are shocked and saddened by the devastating news of the passing of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna.

"Kobe was an ambassador for our game, a decorated legend and a global icon. Above all, he was a loving and dedicated father.

"Kobe's legacy transcends basketball, and our organization has decided that the number 24 will never again be worn by a Dallas Maverick.

"Our hearts go out to all the lives lost and the families impacted by this terrible tragedy. We send our thoughts and prayers to Vanessa and the family, the Lakers organization and Kobe Bryant fans everywhere."

PSG's Neymar celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during the French League One soccer match between Lille and PSG at the Lille Metropole stadium, in Villeneuve d'Ascq, northern France, Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020. After scoring a penalty against Lille, Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar held up two fingers on his right hand and four fingers on his left to make Bryant's famed No. 24 jersey for the Los Angeles Lakers. (Photo: Michel Spingler, AP)

Goal No. 2 for No. 2-4

Meanwhile, over in France, Neymar was leading Paris Sainte-Germain against Lille in Ligue 1.

And when the Brazilian phenom scored the club's second goal to cement a 2-0 win, he trotted to the sideline and held up a number on each hand.

First, No. 2 ... and then, No. 4.

This one's for you, 24.

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