It's still hard to believe that Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and seven other important lives were lost two years ago today. What's even harder to believe is that the NBA did not cancel any games that day. Instead, Commissioner Adam Silver said the show must go on, and players across the league played with teary eyes and heavy hearts.
Everyone will always remember where they were when they heard the news. Atlantans will never forget the game against the Washington Wizards that night. So let's look back at the sights and sounds from January 26, 2020.
Trae Young Tweet
Just a few hours after the news broke, Trae Young posted this tweet. Young had known Kobe for years. More recently, Kobe's daughter, Gianna, had called Young her favorite player in the NBA. In fact, the two had attended two Hawks games earlier that season.
Former Hawks head coach Lloyd Pierce was the first member of the organization to speak with the media. As he always did with delicate situations, Pierce handled it with class and dignity.
Jami Gertz, Tony Ressler
After Hawks head coach Lloyd Pierce spoke with the media, co-owners Jami Gertz and Tony Ressler took to the podium. The two read a prepared statement that summed up what Bryant meant to the organization.
Trae Young Pregame
After seeing this video circulating online, I fully expected the game to get postponed. It's unfathomable that Trae Young was able to compete in an NBA game after this kind of emotional pain.
Trae Young Number 8 Jersey
When it was clear that the game would be played, the focus turned on honoring Bryant the best way possible. Instead of wearing his number 11 jersey, Trae Young wore a number 8 jersey to start the game.
Delays, Shot Clock Violations
Every team across the league opted for 8-second violations and 24-second shot clock violations. Again, a reference to the two numbers worn by Bryant during his legendary career.
Trae Young Buzzer Beater
This is where the story gets even more unreal. At the end of the first half, Trae Young hit a buzzer-beater. Young immediately pointed to the sky. There is no doubt that Kobe and Gianna were smiling in heaven.
Trae Young Press Conference
Not only did the Hawks win, but Trae Young scored 45 points on 24 shot attempts. In his first media availability following the tragedy, Young shared a personal story about his final conversation with Kobe.
Photos from Hawks/Wizards on January 26, 2020
Recommended For You