The tributes for Kobe Bryant continued on Tuesday, two days after the Lakers legend's tragic death in Calabasas, Calif. Sixers center Joel Embiid was the latest to honor Bryant as game action kicked off, donning the Mamba's No. 24 in a matchup with the Warriors.
No. 24 was previously retired in Philadelphia in honor of Hall of Fame forward Bobby Jones. The 11-time All-Defense member played eight years in Philadelphia from 1978-86, winning the Finals in 1983.
Jones gave permission to Embiid to wear his number pregame.
"I got a call from Joel. He explained to me how growing up in Africa, Kobe was a guy that he looked to as the star of American basketball at that time, and he is what made him want to play basketball," Jones told Sixers.com's Brian Seltzer on Tuesday. "I shared with him that Kobe, in addition to doing all that scoring, was a 12-time All-Defensive player. I only made it 11 times, so there’s a lot of defense that goes into that No. 24, so I told Joel to play hard defense, because that what that number represents in my mind. I thanked him for the call, and I’m glad he and I had the chance to talk."
The Sixers also honored Bryant as a team on Tuesday. They held a moment of silence pregame for 33 seconds, matching Bryant's number when he played at Lower Merion high school in Philadelphia.