The extremely tragic death of nine people on January 26, including Gigi Bryant and her father, NBA legend Kobe Bryant, rocked the NBA community this week. It is a tough pill to swallow for everyone worldwide that the 41-year old Bryant is no longer with us and there has been an outpouring of heartfelt tributes to Kobe and Gigi Bryant, as well as the seven other victims involved in the crash.
NBA players continue to find unique ways to honor the legacy of Bryant, and the latest is players discussing changing their jersey numbers in honor of the all-time great, starting with Orlando Magic guard Terrence Ross and Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie, both who wore No. 8.
On top of the usual affection that players league-wide have for Bryant, the ones that grew up in California watching Bryant develop into a Hall of Famer in real-time have taken the tragedy especially hard. Ross is from Long Beach, CA, while Dinwiddie grew up in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, CA. Ross and Dinwiddie are among the initial players to officially change their jersey number in honor of Bryant but the list of names figures to grow.
Toronto Raptors guard Norman Powell, a San Diego-native, wore a "Kobe & Gigi" hoodie on his way to Tuesday's matchup against the Atlanta Hawks. Powell, who wears No. 24, also announced that he would be in favor of changing his jersey number as well.
It will be interesting to see how many players follow this trend but it is also important to note that every person grieves in their own way.
Many players will likely keep their jersey numbers as a means of honoring Bryant's legacy. But no matter what manner players choose to honor the legacy of Bryant, it has been beautiful to see the support for him, Gigi, and all of the families of those involved in Sunday's tragic event.
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