Dallas Mavericks Pay Tribute To Kobe Bryant

Alan Scaia
January 29, 2020 - 7:57 am
Dallas Mavericks honor the memory of Kobe Bryant

© Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

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The Dallas Mavericks held a moment of silence before Tuesday night's game at the American Airlines Center in honor of Kobe Bryant.

The game against the Phoenix Suns was the Mavericks' first home game since Bryant died in a helicopter crash.

Before the game, the Mavericks held a moment of silence and played video of Bryant on the video board above the court. The video included clips of Bryant with Mavericks players. 

Dirk Nowitzki sat near the court next to Mark Cuban. Fans started chanting, "Kobe! Kobe! Kobe!" when the plan to retire the number 24 was announced.

"That really shows how much respect and love he really had," says Cedric Ceballos, an analyst with Fox Sports Southwest and cousin of Bryant. "It's unfortunate that he had to leave us for that affection to show."

Ceballos also played 11 seasons in the NBA. He played with Bryant on the Los Angeles Lakers during Bryant's first season in 1996. Ceballos says the two would have "rap battles" on the team plane.

"He didn't finish his albums, but lyrically, he had some skills," Ceballos says. "Goofin' around, having rap battles on the plane with him, Shaquille, Corie Blount. That's what we hold dearly, those little moments where the cameras are not around."

They started their game with the same tribute to Bryant as the Mavericks and Thunder in Oklahoma City Monday.

When the Mavericks won the tip-off, they took an eight second back-court violation. The Suns then took a 24 second shot clock violation. Bryant wore those two numbers while with the Lakers.