LA Clippers & the rest of the NBA mourn the loss of Kobe Bryant

ORLANDO, FLORIDA - JANUARY 26: The LA Clippers honor the memory of former NBA player Kobe Bryant prior to the game between the Orlando Magic and the LA Clippers on January 26, 2020 in Orlando, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
ORLANDO, FLORIDA - JANUARY 26: The LA Clippers honor the memory of former NBA player Kobe Bryant prior to the game between the Orlando Magic and the LA Clippers on January 26, 2020 in Orlando, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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The LA Clippers and the rest of the NBA shared touching moments as they mourned the unexpected and tragic loss of Kobe Bryant.

The NBA lost an icon today. No one knew quite how to react when news of Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna’s deaths broke. There was disbelief. There was confusion. There was pain. Players and coaches, like the LA Clippers’ Doc Rivers, were completely devastated. Eyes turned to the league to see how they would handle losing one of their own.

The Toronto Raptors and San Antonio Spurs were one of the first games of the day to tip off. Despite the news reaching the teams shortly before the game, they were able to come up with a plan to honor the Mamba.

After the opening tip, each team took a shot clock violation, the obvious connection being that Kobe wore the number 24 during his career and the shot clock is 24 seconds. Other teams would follow suit.

When the LA Clippers and Orlando Magic took the court, the Magic instead took an eight-second violation, eight being the number Kobe started his career with.

It was a great way to honor Kobe’s legacy and to give players a chance to pay their respects to him. After the game, Kawhi Leonard, who trained at a private session with Kobe this summer, was asked about the feeling around the team.

“Everybody is sad.” Such a simple statement that summarizes how we are all still feeling and surely will for some time.

I won’t try to sit here and memorialize Kobe Bryant. I’m not eloquent enough to do that. Instead, here are just a few of the many, many ways people are remembering him today.

For a more comprehensive and continually updated list, this Reddit thread will be cataloging all the tweets and tributes.

The Los Angeles Lakers’ next game is on Tuesday as they host the LA Clippers. As if the emotion of that game won’t be high enough, the game is nationally televised on TNT where Shaq, a longtime teammate of Bryant, will be a part of the pregame show.

Rest in Peace Kobe and Gianna.