In the wake of Kobe Bryant's tragic death in a helicopter crash that claimed the lives of eight other people, including Bryant's 13-year-old daughter GIannia, the NBA cancelled the Los Angeles Lakers game vs. the Clippers on Tuesday night. 

The game was originally slated as the second half of TNT's Tuesday doubleheader, and in its place the studio crew -- Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Shaquille O'Neal -- hosted something of a roundtable that included appearances from ex-NBA players Dwyane Wade, Steve Nash, Reggie Miller, Rick Fox and Derek Fisher, along with WNBA star Candace Parker and the great Jerry West, who was probably closer to Kobe Bryant than just about anyone in the NBA world. 

It was an incredible tribute. The group told all kinds of Kobe stories. They cried. They laughed. It was raw and honest and about as powerful a TV segment as I've personally ever seen. 

As for the Lakers, they privately organized a similar get-together for players and coaches after a workout at their practice facility on Tuesday, when an "impromptu story session broke out," per ESPN's Dave McMenamin.

One of the highlights was when LeBron James, sources said, took the room back to the 2008 Beijing Olympics gold-medal game when he and Bryant teamed up on Team USA against Spain, featuring Bryant's Lakers teammate Pau Gasol.

James recalled in amazement the moment, just a few possessions into the game, when Bryant "blew up" Gasol when Gasol was setting a screen -- he just ran straight through him, putting Gasol on the hardwood.

James said his reaction at the time was along the lines of, "Oh, wow, you're going to have to play with this guy next season ..."

That's when the Lakers' director of sports performance, Dr. Judy Seto, chimed in to explain that the over-the-top contact from Bryant was all calculated. Seto, who traveled with Bryant to the Olympics as his physical therapist and worked in a similar capacity for the Lakers back then, explained how L.A. was just months removed from an NBA Finals loss to the Boston Celtics, and Gasol was labeled "soft" because of mediocre play with the title on the line.

By mowing down Gasol, Seto explained, Bryant wasn't just trying to get in Gasol's head for the medal game, he was planting the seed for Gasol to obsess over what he needed to improve on for the upcoming season so that L.A. could win it all, which it did.

To bring the point home further, Bryant hung his gold medal in Gasol's locker at the start of training camp the following fall.

This is such a perfect Kobe story. Everyone who watched those Olympics remembers that play. Bryant so obviously ran through Gasol's chest for absolutely no other reason than to send a message to Gasol: The United States were not going to lose that gold medal on Bryant's watch, and the Lakers weren't about to lose another championship within his grasp. The part about him leaving his gold medal hanging on Gasol's locker is as hilarious as it is ruthless. 

Kobe was one of a kind.