Dallas Mavericks retire no.24 in honor of Kobe Bryant
After a helicopter crash killed NBA legend Kobe Bryant (along with seven other people and his own daughter Gianna), the Dallas Mavericks have announced that they will be paying tribute to the star in a unique way.
Per Variety, Bryant and his daughter Gianna were reportedly on their way to the Mamba Academy for basketball practice in Thousand Oaks when the incident occurred.
However, now the Dallas Mavericks have come forth to say that no player in their team will ever wear the number 24 again, retiring it in honor of the late Bryant.
In an official statement posted to Twitter, Dallas Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban stated: "We are shocked and saddened by the devastating news of the passing of Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna. Kobe was an ambassador for our game, a decorated legend, and a global icon."
The statement continued: "Above all, he was a dedicated father. Kobe's legacy transcends basketball, and our organization has decided that the number 24 will never again be worn by a Dallas Maverick."
The Mavericks added: "Our hearts go out to all the lives lost and families impacted by this terrible tragedy. We send our thoughts and prayers to Vanessa and the family, the Lakers organization, and Kobe fans everywhere."
Watch this news report on the incident:
Bryant, widely considered one of the greatest NBA players of all time, managed to make 18 All-Star teams during his glittering 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers and was a first-round pick in the 1996 draft. He was also famous for winning five NBA championships, two NBA Finals MVPs, and becoming league MVP in 2007-08.
The other victims are reported to be John Altobelli (a baseball coach at Orange Coast College), his wife Keri and their teenage daughter Alyssa, basketball coach Christina Mauser, Sarah Chester and her daughter Payton Chester, and pilot Ara Zobayan.