Following the death of former NBA player Kobe Bryant on Sunday, the NBA 2K20 basketball video game featured a tribute to the late athlete. The retired NBA star and eight others, including his 13-year-old daughter Gianna Bryant, were killed in a helicopter crash.
The tribute is visible in the game upon startup, and shows a picture of Bryant alongside his years of birth and death.
This is the first thing that you see when you launch NBA 2K20. 2K giving respect to Kobe… I love it #NBA2K20 #XboxShare pic.twitter.com/9cH8swsDNx
— ???????? Sᴏʟᴏ DF ッ???????????? (@YT_Solo) January 26, 2020
Alongside the in-game homage, the official NBA 2K Twitter account posted a eulogy to Kobe Bryant.
RIP to a Legend. Thank you for your many contributions on and off the court. You are greatly missed pic.twitter.com/XesYS63Uhp
— NBA 2K20 (@NBA2K) January 26, 2020
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver released his own statement regarding Bryant’s passing Sunday. The NBA and 2K Games co-own the NBA 2K League, which organizes competitive NBA 2K competitions and teams.
“For 20 seasons, Kobe showed us what is possible when remarkable talent blends with an absolute devotion to winning,” Silver said. “He is one of the most extraordinary players in the history of our game, with accomplishments that are legendary: Five NBA championships, an NBA MVP award, 18 NBA All-Star selections, and two Olympic gold medals. But he will be remembered most for inspiring people around the world to pick up a basketball and compete to the very best of their ability. He was generous with the wisdom he acquired and saw it as his mission to share it with future generations of players, taking special delight in passing down his love of the game to Gianna.”
Kobe Bryant is recognized as one of the greatest basketball players of all time and appeared on the cover of NBA 2K10, released in 2009. The cover appearance came just after Bryant led the Los Angeles Lakers to an NBA championship, with Bryant being named NBA Finals MVP. The year prior, he was named MVP for the NBA’s regular season and also won an NBA championship with the Lakers. He played the entirety of his career with the team.
Bryant ranks fourth all-time in the NBA in total regular-season points scored. The day before his death, he was passed by LeBron James, and his final tweet congratulated James for his achievement. Bryant’s daughter, Gianna, was also a promising player, and the father and daughter were on their way to a game that she was scheduled to play in and he was set to coach.
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