Following the tragic death of Kobe Bryant, NBA players have shown tremendous amounts of respect to the Lakers legend. Every team around the league is taking 8-second backcourt and 24-second shot clock violations in respect for Bryant's No. 8 and No. 24 jerseys. There has also been Nets G Spencer Dinwiddie and Raptors G Terrence Ross changing their No. 8 to other numbers out of respect.
Well, Knicks rookie RJ Barrett also has a special request in honor of Bryant.
He longer wants to be referred to as the "Maple Mamba," per The Post's Peter Botte. Being of Canadian descent, Barrett was given that nickname while playing for Duke last season, which is derived from Bryant's "Black Mamba" moniker. But there was only one real Mamba, and Barrett wants to keep it that way.
The Knicks were among those that had to play just hours after news broke of the horrific helicopter crash that took the lives of Bryant, his daughther Gigi, and seven others in Calabasa, Calif on Sunday. Madison Square Garden held a long moment of silence before tip-off, and as we mentioned before, both the Knicks and Nets joined the rest of the league in taking those shot clock violations on the opening possessions.
Barrett didn't play in the contest, though, as he continues to nurse a sprained right ankle. The team announced this past Saturday that Barrett will be re-evaluated after this week.