NBA on TNT honors icon with hour-long special

NBA on TNT honors icon with hour-long special


The NBA on TNT honored Los Angeles Lakers great Kobe Bryant at Staples Center during an hour-long special Tuesday night.

The special opened with Bryant’s voice, over a photo montage of his memorable basketball moments, saying: “I started playing basketball since I was two and I haven’t put it down since. Just handling the ball, bouncing it against the hardwood, the sound that it makes when it goes through the net. I just loved everything about it.”

The music from Beyonce’s song Heaven played in the background, and the lyrics “Heaven couldn’t wait for you” began.

Inside the NBA host Ernie Johnson spoke in a solemn voice, paying tribute to the nine people, including Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, who lost their lives in a helicopter crash Sunday

He sat next to Shaquille O’Neal, Kenny Smith, Charles Barkley and Dwyane Wade inside an empty Staples Center where the Lakers were supposed to play the Clippers on Tuesday. The game was postponed, and Johnson said there’s “silence inside the walls and an emptiness which mirrors what we all continue to feel.”

Johnson also said: “I’ll be honest – this will be a hard show.”

And it was.

The tribute came on the 23rd anniversary of Bryant’s first NBA start in his rookie season against Dallas. Bryant had 12 points.


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