On Sunday morning, NBA legend Kobe Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash in the hills of Calabasas, CA, along with eight others, including his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna Bryant. In response to the athlete’s tragic death, NBA 2K20 players took to the game’s open world feature to dress their players in purple and gold and gather to pay respects to the player.
NBA 2K20‘s open world zone can be found with the game’s MyCareer mode, and players have been using it to gather to tribute the NBA legend. They’ve also purposely been taking 24-second shot clock violations and 8-second half court violations in honor of the two numbers that Bryant wore throughout his 20-year career. The game itself introduced an in memorial banner on Sunday as well.
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It’s no surprise just how many people are mourning the loss of Bryant, considering how the athlete was able to transcend his sport and become an international icon. As retired NBA player, Richard Jefferson, put it, “This is John Lennon, this is Princess Diana, Prince, Michael Jackson. This isn’t the basketball community, the WORLD is shocked.”
Bryant was not only a massively successful basketball player, but also an inspiration for anyone who ever had goals. The “Mamba Mentality” became a mantra for relentlessly pursuing one’s goals, and Bryant not only inspired athletes across the world, but everyday people as well.
Bryant was also a beloved father, as well as a mentor to many young NBA players. He spent much of retirement with his four daughters and his wife and helped young NBA stars, such as Trae Young and Kyrie Irving, make their way through the league.
On top of it all, Brytan inspired generations of people. Almost every single one of us has shot a crumbled ball of paper into a trash bin and yelled “Kobe!” at one point or another. His determination to succeed and the mindset that he approached everything with was a model of success, and millions of people looked up to him over the last 20 years.
Even though the athlete is gone, the inspiration that he incited in so many of us will never be forgotten, and this NBA 2K20 tribute will definitely not be the last that we see.
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