Basketball was secondary on Sunday after Kobe Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash outside Los Angeles.
The Wizards and Hawks had a game to play, but it was clear everyone's thoughts were with Bryant and his family. Atlanta ended up winning the game easily thanks to a dominant performance by Trae Young, but that was far from important at the end of the day.
We usually bring you the best moments from the game, but this time we'll pivot to everything the Wizards and Hawks did to honor Bryant.
Jerseys and shoes
Emotions were high before the game. Bryant was one of the most popular players in NBA history, so there was no surprise when a bunch of fans had his jersey on and players were wearing his shoe.
No shortage of Kobe jerseys in the Atlanta crowd before Wizards vs. Hawks. pic.twitter.com/pTA4Yk79jL— NBC Sports Wizards (@NBCSWizards) January 26, 2020
Ian Mahinmi has his Kobe's on pregame pic.twitter.com/b2BE2NdxIj— NBC Sports Wizards (@NBCSWizards) January 26, 2020
Brooks talks Kobe
Scott Brooks met with the media before the game and gave a heartfelt statement about Bryant while fighting back tears.
Scott Brooks on Kobe Bryant:— NBC Sports Wizards (@NBCSWizards) January 26, 2020
"Words can’t describe and it doesn’t do any justice to who he is and how he impacted the sports world." pic.twitter.com/6OYbW429ov
Brooks never coached Kobe, but he spent years competing against him and clearly developed a deep respect for his game and the kind of person Bryant was.
Then the crowd held a moment of silence for Bryant, which was followed swiftly by "Kobe!" chants for several moments.
A moment of silence followed "Kobe!" chants before Wizards and Hawks tip off pic.twitter.com/R7nzo5fEbC— NBC Sports Wizards (@NBCSWizards) January 26, 2020
A pair of violations
Off the opening tip, Trae Young caught the ball in the backcourt and held it there until he was assessed an eight-second violation.
Trae Young also wore a No. 8 jersey for the first possession in honor of his favorite player.
On the following play, the Wizards took a 24-second violation, paying tribute to Bryant's two jersey numbers, 8 and 24.
Hawks start the game with an 8-second violation.— NBC Sports Wizards (@NBCSWizards) January 26, 2020
Wizards then take the 24-second violation.
RIP, Kobe Bryant. pic.twitter.com/rUUbofrLXw
The Wizards will have Monday to recollect themselves after a trying day before having to play the Bucks on Tuesday night in Milwaukee. Meanwhile, everyone's thoughts are with Bryant's family as they deal with this tragic loss.
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