The world was shocked and heartbroken on Sunday morning after news that basketball legend Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter were among those killed in a helicopter crash in California. During the Raptors game against the San Antonio Spurs last night, both teams paid homage to the late legend in a heartwarming few moments. The Raptors' Kobe tribute had both teams pausing through the 24-second shot clock without attempting to make a shot. Twenty-four was Bryant's jersey number during the second half of his career.The Raptors and the entire NBA community were visibly emotional during the game and shared their thoughts about the accident throughout the evening. Social media has seen an overwhelming amount of mourning from the players and the entire world as we say goodbye to a basketball star.
After the game, the Raptors shared their heartbreaking reactions to the passing of someone within their own community. Kyle Lowry shared his thoughts in an interview after a reporter asked, "How difficult was that to simply just go out and play this game?""Very difficult — honestly, very difficult," the Raptors player stated. "We lost a legend. It was very difficult to just play this game today, but we found a way to get a win and uh..." Lowry trailed off.
"We lost a legend" Kyle Lowry remembers Kobe #RIPKobe https://t.co/uTt8XA1cWL— Stadium Astro 😷 (@Stadium Astro 😷)1580105700.0
"We are all in shock," Marc Gasol also told reporters. "We should cherish how lucky we are."
"I don't want to speak for anyone but I know how much I'm affected and I never got a chance to meet Kobe or share that space with him, but I know how much he meant to me," Fred VanVleet said.
Pausing to remember a great one, gone too soon. https://t.co/YOAIkldiX4— Toronto Raptors (@Toronto Raptors)1580074125.0
Even Raptors coach Nick Nurse revealed how much the loss of Kobe affected the team.
"It was a really rough locker room prior to the game," Nurse revealed in an interview.
https://t.co/jT5gXinX8g— Toronto Raptors (@Toronto Raptors)1580086192.0
"It’s hard to express the impact Kobe made on everyone in the basketball world & beyond. Growing up, I idolized him. His legacy will live on and continue to inspire people forever," Matthew Thomas also revealed.