'He's in the building': 24-8 score another tribute to Kobe on Mamba Day


Posted at Aug 25 2020 06:09 PM

'He's in the building': 24-8 score another tribute to Kobe on Mamba Day 1
SiriusXM Presents A Town Hall With NBA Legend Kobe Bryant at the Mamba Sports Academy on March 28, 2019 in Newbury Park, California. Vivien Killilea, Getty Images for SiriusXM/AFP

The Los Angeles Lakers paid tribute to Kobe Bryant in an inadvertent, but nonetheless poetic way during the first quarter of their game against the Portland Trail Blazers.

In the crucial Game 4 of their first-round playoff series, the Lakers raced off to a 15-0 start, and then wound up leading, 24-8, with 4:58 to play after a layup by Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.

It seemed like another way for the Lakers to honor Bryant on "Mamba Day" -- 8/24 -- after already wearing their special Black Mamba jerseys for Game 4. 

Other NBA players noticed the score, with Chris Paul saying on Twitter that it meant Bryant "was always watching." 

Bryant, along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, died in January in a helicopter crash in California. 

LeBron James, who had 30 points and 10 assists in the Lakers' victory, said he noticed the score.

"When I looked up there and saw 24-8, I was like, 'OK. This is ... he's here in the building'," said James, as quoted by ESPN.

"It's a beautiful night for our franchise and something that we will probably always remember, Game 4 of the 2020 playoffs, in this moment," he added.

The Lakers' "Black Mamba" jerseys also featured a special No. 2 patch, in honor of Gianna, who used the number throughout her budding career. Bryant and Gianna were on their way to her basketball game when their helicopter crashed in Calabasas. Seven other people died in the accident.

Monday was also Kobe Bryant Day in Los Angeles, where the city is honoring the five-time NBA champion with a move to rename the downtown road in front of the Staples Center arena after him.

"This is a gift to the city of Los Angeles and to all the Kobe Bryant fans around the world," councilman Curren Price said of the proposal. 

Kobe Bryant Boulevard will stretch south from the arena for several blocks to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

In 2016, Los Angeles initially declared August 24 to be Kobe Bryant Day. Orange County followed suit earlier this month with the same honor.

On Sunday, Major League Baseball's Los Angeles Dodgers paid tribute to Bryant with a pre-game ceremony before their 11-3 win over Colorado.

The Dodgers donned Bryant's No. 8 and 24 jerseys and the team played a video tribute. -- With a report from Agence France-Presse

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