Before the Brooklyn Nets tipped off with the Detroit Pistons for Wednesday's game, Barclays Center stood still during a pregame tribute to Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna.
The 41-year-old Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter died Sunday in a southern California helicopter crash that killed nine people while reportedly going from Calabasas to nearby Thousand Oaks, where the Mamba Sports Academy is located, for a travel basketball game.
In the few days that have followed, the tragic accident has shaken the sports world to its core. The impact Bryant had was evident again prior to the midweek contest as Nets star point guard Kyrie Irving -- who did not play in Sunday's 110-97 loss to the Knicks at Madison Square Garden due to personal reasons -- was among those who appeared shaken up, fighting back tears during Brooklyn's tribute to the Bryants.
Bryant and Irving had a close friendship, with the 20-year NBA star from 1996-16 mentoring Irving during and after he walked away from his playing career and retired. Spencer Dinwiddie, who changed from No. 8 to 26 on Tuesday to honor the Bryants, was another Nets player who took the tragic news to heart on Sunday.
With a video montage on the jumbo screen above the court, Bryant's Nos. 8 and 24 were displayed while highlights from Kobe's career rolled. It ended with a clip of Kobe and Gianna sitting courtside at a recent Nets game, with Kobe appearing to break down the action to her. The video ended with a list of the names of all nine lives lost in the tragedy.
The Nets additionally honored the Bryants by leaving two courtside chairs open with flowers on top of the seats. A 24-second moment of silence followed, with chants of "Kobe" breaking out around the arena once the period ended.