Kobe Bryant Honored at Raptors-Spurs NBA Game With Shot Clock Tribute

Both teams began the game by allowing the 24-second clock to expire in memory of late NBA legend

Last Updated: January 26, 2020 @ 8:59 PM

As news of the sudden death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant spread, players on the Toronto Raptors and San Antonio Spurs paid an impromptu tribute to the man who wore the number 24 during the tip-off to their game on Sunday.

Before the game tipped off, both teams agreed to not play on each of their first possessions of the ball, allowing the 24-second shot clock to expire. The unrehearsed salute was met with a standing ovation from the fans in San Antonio.

Bryant, 41, and his young daughter Gianna were among nine people killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, early Sunday morning. The cause of the crash is still being investigated by local officials. Bryant’s death was understandably met with shock throughout the NBA, with reports of stunned silence and players consoling each other at league warmups and practices. During a game between the Houston Rockets and Denver Nuggets, Rockets center Tyson Chandler was seen in visible tears on the bench.

At the Staples Center, where Bryant played the majority of his Lakers career, rehearsals for the Grammys were underway when news of the crash was made public. The Los Angeles Times reports that workers at the arena removed curtains covering Bryant’s retired No. 8 and No. 24 jerseys in the rafters.

The Lakers will play their next game at the Staples Center on Tuesday against the Los Angeles Clippers. Bryant’s death came less than 24 hours after current Lakers forward LeBron James passed Bryant for third on the all-time league scorers list.