WATCH: Cleveland Cavaliers Pay Touching Tribute to Kobe Bryant before LA Lakers Game

Published 01/26/2021, 5:30 AM EST
Lakers’ Kobe Bryant, right, and Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James have their game face on as they guard each other in the fourth quarter at the Staples Center in Los Angeles Sunday, Jan. 27, 2008. Lakers lost 98–95. LeBron James scored 14 of his 41 points in the fourth quarter. Kobe Bryant finished with 33 points. (Photo by Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images) | Courtesy: Getty Images


Ahead of their game with the Los Angeles Lakers, the Cleveland Cavaliers showed their class with a touching gesture. They aired a tribute video package to Lakers’ legend Kobe Bryant on the eve of the anniversary of the tragic accident in which several lives were lost, including Kobe and his daughter Gigi.

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Cavaliers share beautiful tribute for the Black Mamba

The Cavaliers showed pictures and videos from some of Kobe’s greatest performances, including those against the Lakers. It was a beautiful act from the organization, especially given they were playing against the LA Lakers, Kobe’s only team in his career. Their tribute will be one of many pouring in, as the NBA and the world remember the Black Mamba.

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Kobe was an iconic player during his time in the NBA. After the retirement of Michael Jackson, Kobe became the de facto face of the NBA. Under the tutelage of legendary coach Phil Jackson, Bryant won three consecutive NBA championships. He and NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal formed a lethal team.

After the departure of Shaq, Kobe struggled for a long time before he found success again. Eventually, he found a new star teammate in Pau Gasol. Together, the duo led the Lakers to three consecutive NBA finals, winning two NBA championships in 2009 and 2010. For his performances, Kobe was awarded the finals MVP in both championship wins.

Kobe Bryant was the face of the NBA

In addition to all this, Kobe was also a former league MVP and a multiple-time All-Star. After years of injuries and poor performances from the Lakers, Kobe eventually called time on his legendary career in 2016. He had a career that spanned for 20 years and saw both his numbers retired by the Los Angeles Lakers.

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(Orlando, Florida – Sunday, June 14, 2009) Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant share a warm embrace at center court as they realize victory is certain over the Magic in game five of the NBA Finals at Amway Arena. (Photo by Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Kobe was one of the all-time greats. No one could deny Bryant when he wanted to get the win. Fans fondly remember his 81-point game in 2006, the highest number of points scored by any player in the modern era since Wilt Chamberlain. Kobe has the second-highest number of points scored by an individual in history.

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Kobe will never be forgotten in the NBA. His legacy is driven forward by those who grew up inspired by him and now play in the NBA. Kobe was the hero for so many players playing today, and they do everything in their power to continue to play like him.

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Aaditya Krishnamurthy

1313 articles

Aaditya Krishnamurthy is an NBA & NFL journalist for EssentiallySports, before which he worked at BusinessWorld magazine. He has been a fan of Basketball for over 10 years now, since Shaquille O’Neal was a Phoenix Suns player. During his time at Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts, he started a sports magazine for the college called the Overtime Tribune and hosted the Overtime Tribune Podcast until he graduated.

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