There is no one way to mourn the tragic death of an idol, case in point, fans are finding all sorts of ways to honor the life of lifelong Los Angeles Laker and future first-ballot Hall of Famer, Kobe Bean Bryant. Not just in the real world but in the virtual world of video games as well.
Yesterday (Jan.27), the entire world was turned upside down when TMZ broke the news that Kobe Bryant, 41, his daughter Gianna, 13, along with seven other passengers, were killed in a helicopter crash in California. While still in shock, fans, celebrities, Kobe’s NBA brethren, and athletes from all over the sports world expressed their disbelief and grief at crushing news that the retired baller, husband, and most importantly, father passed away.
As news spread around the association players visibly were shook and heartbroken at the loss of Bryant and his daughter but still suited up in Kobe’s honor cause they felt that’s what the Black Mamba would have wanted them to do. Buildings and landmarks were lit up in the Lakers’ purple and gold to honor Bryant. The love and admiration for Kobe are not just confined to real life, but also in the electronic world of the insanely popular basketball video game NBA 2K20.
A video shared on Twitter from user @beeniicole went viral, showing gamers in-game created characters rocking Lakers’ tees, hoodies, and jerseys honoring Kobe.
A touching moment indeed. If you hit the #NBA2K hashtag, you will also see that players are emulating in the game the tribute that was done by NBA teams by allowing the 24-second shot clock to expire.
The developers at 2K even snuck in a quick update where players are greeted to a mural honoring a Kobe in the game’s menu.
Fitting tributes for Kobe, who was involved with the game by gracing the covers of NBA 2K10 and NBA 2K17 Legend Edition following his retirement.
Bryant event lent his voice and basketball expertise, providing color commentary as a guest commentator alongside Kevin Garnett and Bill Simmons in NBA 2K19.
This is just one of the many examples the impact Kobe Bryant had on the world thanks to his heroics on the basketball court and his sheer determination to win. Rest in power, Kobe and Gianna. You can see more of the touching tributes to Kobe using NBA 2K20 in the gallery below.
Photo: Bernard Smalls / @PhotosByBeanz