CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The Cleveland Cavaliers took their home court on Tuesday night at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse for the first time since Kobe Bryant’s death.
Cleveland’s fans and the Cavaliers, like all other NBA teams and players, took time to honor the late NBA legend, who was killed in a helicopter crash in California on Jan. 26.
Photos of Bryant were displayed on digital signs outside of the arena for fans to see before arriving to the game against the New Orleans Pelicans.
Before tipoff, Bryant was remembered with a moment of silence lasting 24.8 seconds, which represents his two numbers worn during his 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers.
After the tip, the Pelicans and Cavaliers continued the tribute to Bryant’s jersey numbers by taking an eight-second backcourt and 24-second shot clock violations.
Fans to the game donned Bryant’s jersey and memorabilia and carried signs with farewell messages for the Lakers great.
Cavaliers forward Larry Nance Jr., who previously played with Bryant in Los Angeles, changed his jersey to No. 24 to honor his former teammate.
“I know I’ve seen increased focus and just understanding that what he did was more than just make baskets,” Cavaliers coach John Beilein said on Bryant’s impact.
LeBron James and Bryant’s former team, the Lakers, were supposed to play against the Clippers on Tuesday night, but that matchup was postponed.