Trae Young shares last moments with Kobe and Gigi Bryant; wears #8 in Hawks-Wizards game
Just like any other athletes, Trae Young grew up idolizing Kobe Bryant.
However, Young grew closer with the “Black Mamba” just recently thanks to his daughter, Gianna Marie, who expressed her admiration for the sophomore Young.
Which is why the Hawks star was devastated as soon as he heard the sudden death of Kobe and Gianna.
According to Chris Kirschner of The Athletic, Young emotionally shared his last encounter with the two-time Finals MVP and his daughter, where they FaceTimed each other to congratulate him for being named as the starter for the All-Star game for the first time.
“One of the last conversations we had, man, he (Kobe) was just telling how he’s seen my game progress,” Young said while in tears.
“He was just happy for me. He was saying how proud he was of me and how he wants to continue seeing me be a role model for the kids growing up and just for Gigi and all of the kids looking up to me and continue to inspire these kids looking up to me and continue to inspire this kids and continue to play my heart out. That was one of the last things he said to me.”
Thanks to Gianna’s admiration, Kobe and Young’s relationship only blossomed as time went by.
Right before the tip-off, the sharpshooting guard was seen hugging his mother the moment they heard the news that Kobe and Gianna was tragically killed by a helicopter crash.
Trae Young and his mother share a very long, teary embrace. pic.twitter.com/R2jmgyLl8P
— Chris Kirschner (@ChrisKirschner) January 26, 2020
Young entered the game wearing #8 instead of his #11 jersey, in honor of the Lakers legend.
Hawks started the match by committing an eight-second violation, followed by Wizards’ 24-second shot lock violation to pay homage to Black Mamba’s jersey numbers.
Young finished the game with 45 points on 24 shot attempts, including a half-court buzzer beater which he dedicated to the five-time NBA champion.
After starting the night off in Kobe Bryant’s iconic No. 8, Trae knocks down a half-court buzzer-beater going into the half and appears to say it’s for Kobe 🙏 pic.twitter.com/hXNkBcxwWe
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) January 27, 2020