The game itself wasn’t one to remember, but the ceremony before the game celebrating the great Kobe Bryant will never be forgotten.
Kobe’s local connection
During warmups all the players were wearing an No. 8 or 24 Sixers Bryant jersey.
Kobe, who attended Lower Merion High School just outside of Philadelphia, was also honored by having his No. 33 high school jersey displayed on the court.
Maroon pins were worn by all the Sixers coaches and staff throughout the night.
The names of all nine victims of the helicopter accident were on the jumbotron prior to the pregame ceremony honoring Bryant.
There was 33 seconds of silence followed by the bell ringing nine times in remembrance of all the lives lost.
Joel Embiid, who played in his first game since Jan. 9, wore the number 24 in the game to honor Bryant.
Embiid called former Sixer Bobby Jones for permission to wear the number since it was retired by the team and Jones allowed for it.
Zhaire Smith wore No. 7 instead of his usual 8, which he originally picked because of Kobe.
The game itself
Just like we’ve seen in previous days with all the other teams in the league, the Sixers and Warriors started the game honoring Kobe.
The Sixers won the tip-off and took an 8 second violation. The Warriors took a 24 second violation on the following possession.
Embiid, who credited Kobe with helping him fall in love with the game, finished the game with 24 points.
“I go back to the first time I really watched basketball, which was in 2010 in that Finals against Boston, and that’s how I became a Kobe fan,” Embiid told Serena Winters of NBC Sports Philadelphia following the game.
Embiid said that without Kobe’s influence he would probably be playing volleyball in Africa or perhaps even a doctor.
He even yelled ‘Kobe’ when he made his final basket of the game, a fade way jumper to give him his final two points.
“Since I started playing basketball that’s how we’ve always done it. You shoot something in the trash and you just go ‘Kobe’ so that was cool,” Embiid said.
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