SACRAMENTO -- Buddy Hield idolized Kobe Bryant. There might not be a bigger Kobe fan than the Kings shooting guard who grew up watching and emulating the Lakers legend while growing up in the Bahamas.
Hield has made the decision to continue wearing No. 24 in honor of a hero.
Buddy will continue wearing 24 to honor Kobe. pic.twitter.com/K39KjFGyNp— Kings on NBCS (@NBCSKings) January 29, 2020
“I wanted to be like him, I wanted to work like him, run like him, put the shooting sleeve on like him,” Hield said following shootaround on Wednesday. “I feel like it would still be great to honor him by wearing his number. Unless the NBA says we can’t wear his number, I don’t see any reason.”
Many players around the league are handing over their numbers. It started with Brooklyn’s Spencer Dinwiddie, who gave up No. 8 in honor of Bryant, but the list is growing.
Before the Kings take on the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday, the team will be a special tribute video, followed by a 24-second moment of silence to honor the lives of Kobe and his daughter Gianna, who passed away, along with seven others, in a helicopter accident on Sunday.
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The Kings will honor Bryant again when they host the Los Angeles Lakers Saturday at Golden 1 Center. According to the team, “In the Plaza, directly across from the Grand Entrance to the arena, there will be an art installation in remembrance of Kobe and Gianna Bryant. Fans and members of the public are invited to visit the memorial and leave notes and flowers in honor of their life and legacy.”