A huge portion of the weekend's NBA All-Star Game was dedicated to remembering Lakers legend and Philly-area native Kobe Bryant, from the touching pre-game tribute to the players' jersey numbers.
There were plenty of Bryant jerseys among the weekend's attendees, too, including Sixers legend Allen Iverson, who sported a No. 8 yellow Bryant jersey during Sunday's All-Star Game.
Iverson was interacting with some fans at the United Center in Chicago when he bumped into Dwyane Wade, and the two shared a beautifully unscripted, vulnerable moment. Incredibly, one fan captured the scene, and video of the two legends' interaction surfaced Tuesday afternoon:
That's something special.
Wade and Iverson's NBA careers overlapped for seven years, including six shared All-Star Games. Bryant entered the league the same year as Iverson, and Wade made his final All-Star Game the year Bryant retired.
The three spent so much shared time in the league, creating their own stories and navigating their own paths, and it's an absolute tragedy that Bryant wasn't in Chicago this past weekend to enjoy yet another show from the league's stars.
Moments like this one help remind fans that, while players like Bryant, Wade, and Iverson often seem superhuman, they're ultimately people like us, and they process grief just like we do.
Good on Wade and Iverson for being there for each other.
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If you missed Monday night's Sixers game, here's a quick three-word recap: it was bad.
After a relatively close-fought first half, everything came apart at the seams in the second half. Jimmy Butler smoked his former team with 38 points in 28 minutes, the Sixers failed to play a shred of defense, and they were run off the floor in a laugher, losing by 31.
The loss is the Sixers' third straight, and they dropped to 9-18 on the road this season, a concerning trend considering it seems they might miss out on home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
Understandably, Sixers fans didn't take things well. This team, once thought to be a legit contender, simply hasn't looked the part.
Plenty of fans were not having a good time:
Some chose to focus on the fact that general manager Elton Brand seems to have constructed a roster that simply doesn't work:
Others opted to think about Thursday's trade deadline, hoping that a shrewd move or two might be able to save the team from spiraling further:
Even good old Stephen A. Smith got in on the action:
It was a bad night, all around.
The Sixers don't play again until a showdown with the East-leading Bucks on Thursday evening, the final game of their current road trip. Should be... fun.
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The NBA All-Star Game will see drastic changes this year, in part to honor Kobe Bryant.
Instead of the traditional four-quarter contest, each of the first three quarters will act as sort of mini games. Whichever team wins the quarter will win $100,000 to award to charity. The scores will reset after the second and third, and if there’s a tie, the money will go into the next quarter.
In the fourth quarter, the cumulative score from the first three quarters will come back. The teams will then play to a “target score” to determine a winner. The number will be plus-24 of the team that’s ahead, an homage to Bryant’s No. 24.
The goal is to make the game more competitive and altogether, $500,000 for charity is up for grabs. The proceeds will go to charities in the Chicago area, where the 2020 game will take place on Feb. 16.
There will also be several tributes to Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and the seven other victims of the helicopter crash that occurred Sunday.
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