Kobe Bryant tributes: 76ers put No. 33 from Lower Merion High School on Wells Fargo Center court
The Pistons opened play on Monday with a stunning tribute to Kobe Bryant, with several other teams following suit
Kobe Bryant tributes have been pouring in since Sunday after the NBA. Those tributes have continued as more and more games have been played since his death.in a tragic helicopter accident was first reported. Players opened games Sunday with eight- and 24-second violations in Bryant's honor, as those were the numbers that he wore when playing in the
The Detroit Pistons and Cleveland Cavaliers were the first two teams to take the floor on Monday, and the Pistons delivered the first major tribute to Bryant. When they took off their warm-up gear for pre-game introductions, the Pistons were wearing custom black uniforms. On the back, each featured either No. 8 or No. 24 and the name Bryant.
Bryant played against the Pistons in the 2004 NBA Finals and was very nearly traded to Detroit in 2007 after asking the Lakers to move him. He had a no-trade clause at the time, though, and ultimately decided against leaving Los Angeles for the Pistons.
Like many other games, Monday's Pistons-Cavs battle kicked things off with two violations. The Cavs won the opening tip and ran the shot clock down 24 seconds to zero. The Pistons responded by spending eight seconds behind the half-court line to give the ball back. The game proceeded as scheduled from there.
The Miami Heat and Orlando Magic were next to tip-off half an hour later. Like the Pistons and Cavaliers, they opened the game with violations in Bryant's honor. The Heat also aired a touching tribute video to Bryant before the game started, which they followed with 24.8 seconds of silence.
Bam Adebayo posted a triple-double in the game, scoring 20 points, dishing out 10 assists and pulling down 10 rebounds. He dedicated the performance to Bryant.
The Minnesota Timberwolves tinkered with the eight-second tribute that other teams had given. Rather than simply holding the ball behind half-court for eight seconds, they placed the ball on the free-throw line until that time had expired.
A number of Bryant's greatest NBA moments came at the free-throw line. It is where he passed his idol, Michael Jordan, on the all-time scoring list. He also famously shot and made two free throws after tearing his Achilles tendon in a 2013 game against the Golden State Warriors. The Lakers won that game by two, 118-116.
On Tuesday, the Philadelphia 76ers are playing their first game since the news broke. Bryant is a Philadelphia native, and he is still revered there for his high school career at Lower Merion. He wore No. 33 there, so the 76ers put that on their floor.
In addition, the Sixers took the floor for pregame warmups wearing customized No. 8 and No. 24 76ers jerseys with Bryant's name on the back.
As the first wave of tributes comes to a close, all eyes move toward Los Angeles. The Lakers will not play until Friday, as their Tuesday night matchup with the Clippers , but they will certainly have something planned to honor Bryant when they take the court again.
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