Among the ever-growing list of Kobe Bryant tributes in the wake of his untimely death last weekend is one from Arlington National Cemetery. The military cemetery, which houses those who've died during the nation's many conflicts, starting with beginning with the Civil War, tweeted out a solemn reminder of Bryant's visit back in 2012. While representing the U.S. in the Olympics that year, Bryant laid a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
In July 2012, the USA Olympic men's basketball team visited Arlington National Cemetery. Kobe Bryant represented his team during a wreath laying ceremony to honor the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. pic.twitter.com/Kf9nVBPGMF— Arlington National Cemetery (@ArlingtonNatl) January 26, 2020
Eight years ago, Bryant served on the Olympic basketball team under the leadership of LeBron James. Other players included Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant and Black Griffin, among others. They ended with an 8-0 record, averaged 116 points a game, as well as set a prestigious Olympic single-game record with 156 points scored while playing against Nigeria.
Bryant and eight others were killed in a helicopter crash the morning of Sunday, Jan. 27. Among those lost include Bryant's 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, as well as Payton Chester, Alyssa Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Christina Mauser, John Altobelli, Sarah Chester and pilot Ara Zobayan.
Last Friday, the Los Angeles Lakers had their first game back since news of Bryant's death days earlier. Though he had initially retired from the Lakers in 2016, as well as the NBA in general, his loss was felt deeply throughout the team's extensive fanbase. Ahead of the tipoff, James delivered a heartfelt speech over how Bryant inspired him on and off the court, as well as how he vows to continue his legacy.
"Tonight we celebrate the kid that came here at 18, retired at 38 and became probably the best dad we've seen over the last three years," James said of his former teammate.
Just this week, the massive memorial that fans had erected outside the Lakers' home at the Staples Center in L.A. was starting to get dismantled by area staff. Among the massive amount of flowers, keepsakes and other memorabilia left in remembrance of the NBA all-star were roughly 1,353 basketballs, many of which inscribed with personal messages over what Bryant meant to them.