Anthony Davis Wears Shirt From Kobe Bryant's Public Memorial Into NBA Bubble
Anthony Davis wore the shirt that was handed out at Kobe Bryant's public memorial as he flew to Orlando on Thursday for the resumed NBA season.
Davis considered Bryant a mentor and was devastated after he and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna died in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26.
"Man this is a tough one for me!" Davis wrote on Instagram on Jan. 27. You were the first guy to put me under your wing and show me the ins and outs of the league. Had so many great convos about so many things and I will cherish those moments forever. Love you forever, Bean! #RIPKobe #RIPGiGi 😔"
Bryant took a special interest in Davis at the 2012 Olympic Games in London after the 19-year-old had the courage to pepper him with questions.
"Anthony was different just because of his curiosity about the game itself," Bryant told the Los Angeles Times last fall. "His obvious potential. His ability. But he had a curious nature about him and how he wanted to learn more and more about the game. So I'd gravitate toward that."
Davis learned of Bryant's death as the Lakers were flying home following a game against Philadelphia in which LeBron James passed Bryant for third on the All-Time scorers list.
Days later, Davis and James got tattoos on their thighs in honor of Bryant, a five-time NBA champion over his 20-season career with the Lakers.
"All my tats are something special," Davis said Feb. 6. "I don’t have any meaningless tats, so knowing how much Kobe meant to me, I felt like for me, the impact that he had on my life and my basketball career, I felt like it was only right for me to get a tattoo to remember him."
The NBA will restart July 30 after being suspended for four months because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Lakers, who are atop the Western Conference with a record of 49-14, are competing for their first title since 2010, when Bryant led the Lakers to his fifth and final championship.