WASHINGTON — It didn't take long for the Washington Wizards and the Atlanta Hawks to honor NBA great Kobe Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash on Sunday.
The 41-year-old was honored by the Wizards and Hawks when the teams collectively took an 8-second violation and 24-second violation to start the game, just after tipoff in Atlanta. Both numbers that Bryant wore in his 20 seasons in the NBA.
Trae Young held the ball first, dribbling as many in the crowd recognized the sentiment. The Wizards would return the favor, with players from both teams visibly shaken by the horrific news that came out of Calabasas, California, early in the afternoon.
The Wizards and Lakers were not the only ones to take violations to start the game. The Spurs and Raptors did a similar tribute in their game.
Multiple players from Washington and Atlanta also honored Bryant by putting his name on their basketball shoes before the game. Young even wore the number eight jersey to honor Bryant.
The Wizard retweeted the video that was put out by the Hawks media team. But Washington has been putting out social media posts of their own, including a statement from Ted Leonsis, CEO and Chairman of Monumental Sports and Entertainment.
"His legacy will continue to live on through the many people he touched and influenced throughout his life of basketball and beyond. May he rest in peace," said Leonsis to end his statement on Bryant.
Bryant was one of nine people that died in the crash. With him on the helicopter was his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna.
The Lakers legend last played the Wizards in Washington on Dec. 2, 2015. He scored 31-points in a four-point win.
Kobe played his predecessor of basketball greatness, Michael Jordan, four times when Jordan was with the Wizards.
Bryant at one point thought about playing for the Washington Wizards, according to a report from The Washington Post.