Since the tragic passing of former Los Angeles Lakers great Kobe Bryant back in January, the basketball community at all levels has been shaken by his loss. Bryant was a significant part of the game, even into retirement, given the impact he had on his peers and the many players that have come after him. That has led to many different honors being thrust his way to heighten further what he meant to the NBA and the game of basketball altogether. His former longtime teammate Shaquille O’Neal may have just unveiled a special tribute that NBA 2K has planned for Bryant.
Sports world honors Kobe Bryant
It hasn’t been a smooth transition for the sports world to come to terms with the loss of Bryant. That has also brought forth the opportunity for various tributes to be made in honor of the former Lakers great.
That saw the NBA alter the All-Star Game format and changed the name of the All-Star game trophy in honor of Bryant along with various players make personal tributes to him. Meanwhile, teams all made video tributes and honored him with shot clock violations in games following his passing.
It has well extended passed the NBA as other professional athletes and sports league each honored Bryant in a unique manner. With that in mind, another tribute to the future first-ballot Hall of Famer may have just been revealed.
Shaq reveals what NBA 2K has planned for Kobe
Over the years, NBA 2K has continued to evolve and become a more significant part of the NBA community.
It has seen the game become a huge part of the basketball community while honoring legends along the way, such as Hall of Famer Michael Jordan. During a recent interview with Brandon Robinson of Heavy.com, O’Neal revealed that NBA 2K21 would grace Bryant on the cover.
“There is going to be Kobe. You don’t even have to worry about that,” O’Neal said. “Definitely going to be Kobe. And I don’t know what they’re going to do with the money, but they’re going to do the right thing. Kobe’s family does the right thing.
“I think that would be brilliant, the kids would eat it up, he’s definitely a big inspiration to all the kids and an inspiration to my kids. So I’m sure the kids would eat it up…but you can’t be giving your ideas away on your podcast [laughs]… you know somebody’s listening. Be careful.”
That would be the second time that Bryant received that honor as he was on NBA 2K10 after the Lakers had won the first of two straight NBA titles. If this is indeed the route that the game goes for next year’s edition, there will undoubtedly be a strong supportive outpouring for that decision.
Bryant is one of the most respected players to play the game, and given what transpired, it would only make this the reasonable choice.
Kobe Bryant’s impact
In the time that has passed since Bryant and his daughter along with seven others lost their lives, that has brought forth a tremendous amount of outpour of appreciation toward him.
He put together an illustrious 20-year career that saw him achieve many incredible feats along the way such as winning five NBA titles from finishing as the third all-time leading scorer to scoring 81 points in a single game among other things. Bryant experienced great success on the court that has engrained him as an all-time great.
However, his reach went far beyond that as his mental approach to the game is one that many have drawn much inspiration. His “Mamba Mentality” has been a strong source of motivation for many well outside the bounds of the game of basketball.
It has been a tough pathway for the sports world to come to terms with losing Bryant, but it’s on that has brought a greater appreciation toward him.