Monday, March 1, 2021
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Joel Embiid Pays Awesome Tribute to Kobe Bryant for Sixers’ Prime Time Matchup With Lakers

Embiid pays awesome tribute to Kobe ahead of Sixers-Lakers originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

The Sixers and Lakers are set to square off for the first time in the 2020-21 regular season on Wednesday, a clash of two No. 1 teams with some serious buzz.

But Sixers superstar Joel Embiid put aside the competition for a second to remember the bigger picture.

Embiid had custom UA Embiid One shoes made for Wednesday night’s game to honor the late Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, one day after the anniversary of Bryant’s tragic death in a helicopter crash. 

The shoes honor Bryant and his late daughter, Gianna, with an image of the two hugging set opposite the numbers 24, 8, and 2, representing Kobe and Gianna’s jersey numbers:

What a fantastic move from Embiid, who himself welcomed his first son last summer.

Bryant had an outsized influence on Embiid’s introduction to basketball, and he went out of his way last January to pay tribute to Bryant in the days after the legend’s death.

Embiid got permission from Bobby Jones, whose No. 24 jersey is retired by the team, to wear a No. 24 jersey for the Sixers’ game against the Warriors on Jan. 28 last year:

Embiid explained to Jones that watching Bryant play basketball while Embiid still lived in Africa is what made Embiid want to play basketball:

Just great stuff from the face of the Sixers’ franchise, honoring a basketball legend.


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