The memorial service honoring Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna, who were killed alongside seven others in a Jan. 26 helicopter crash, is taking place on Monday morning, and fans are striving to pay tribute in any way possible. The Boston Celtics wore special Bryant-themed armbands prior to a game with the Los Angeles Lakers Sunday. The LA Kings opted for Lakers-themed warmup jerseys the same day.
Prior to a Sunday night game against the Edmonton Oilers, the members of the Kings took to the ice for warmups wearing bright purple Lakers jerseys. Some of the tops featured No. 8, which Bryant wore during the first portion of his career. The others featured No. 24.
The battle between the Oilers and the Kings took place at Staples Center, the location of Monday's memorial service for the victims of the helicopter crash. The Oilers secured a 4-2 victory amid a winning season.
"Love the Oilers, but major respect and love for the @LAKings. #MambaForever," one NHL fan wrote after seeing the warmup tops. Others chimed in to say that they loved how the LA-based hockey team paid tribute to a beloved figure.
"I would support this as a third jersey any day," a Kings fan wrote on Twitter. The NHL team traditionally wears black, silver, and white during the season, but the fans are hoping to see some purple and gold tops make it into the rotation.
There were several fans on social media that thought this tribute was extremely fitting considering that the memorial service will be taking place on Monday morning at the Staples Center. Along with Bryant and Gianna, the other victims were Gianna's basketball teammates Alyssa Altobelli and Payton Chester, Altobelli's parents John and Keri Altobelli, Chester's mom Sarah Chester, girls' basketball coach Christina Mauser, and pilot Ara Zobayan.
The Kings are not the only team to honor the memories of Bryant and the other victims. Several other organizations have done just that, including the Boston Celtics, LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers, the Portland Trail Blazers, and the Dallas Mavericks.0comments
The tributes have also extended to other sports. Golfers Justin Thomas and Tony Finau wore Bryant jerseys during the Waste Management Phoenix Open in early February. Thomas also used custom Bryant-inspired wedges during the tournament, which he auctioned off to raise money for the families of the victims.
(Photo Credit: Juan Ocampo/NHLI via Getty Images)