Sunday afternoon, the NFL's all-stars prepared for the annual Pro Bowl in Orlando, Florida. These players started the day with the goals of winning the meaningless game and taking home thousands of dollars. That situation changed once news surfaced that Kobe Bryant had died in a helicopter crash. The players, coaches, and fans in attendance responded with a moment of silence, as well as a chant to honor the NBA legend.
Moment of silence at the Pro Bowl for Kobe Bryant. Crowd chants "Kobe, Kobe!"January 26, 2020
Midway through the Pro Bowl, the stadium announcer asked football fans to take a moment of silence to honor the NBA star and the impact that he made on both sports and everyday life. They showed a photo of Bryant on the video board.
Following the moment of silence, the entire stadium erupted with chants of "Kobe, Kobe, Kobe." This lasted for some time as the fans in attendance wanted to show their love for the Lakers star.
The players also reacted to the tragic news in a number of ways. New Orleans Saints quarterback, Drew Brees talked about how Bryant was an inspiration, not only for his competitive spirit but also for the manner in which he approached his life.
Similarly, Houston Texans QB Deshaun Watson told ESPN's Lisa Salters that the news is just downright heartbreaking. He didn't have any words for the moment. Watson also revealed that the players were informed of Bryant's passing moments prior to walking out on the NFL field, which made many of them very emotional.
In order to honor Bryant, several players broke out celebrations that referenced his longtime career. The NFC team's defensive line gathered after a big play to mimic one of Bryant's signature moves. Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams also used a celebration to honor the NBA star.
Fellow NBA players, however, opted to honor Bryant by drawing a penalty. The Toronto Raptors and Spurs let the 24-second shot clock run out at the start of their game in San Antonio to honor Bryant, who wore No. 24 for part of his career. The Raptors won the tip-off but did not attempt to go and score. Instead, they slowly headed down the court while letting the shot clock run out. The Spurs did the same thing on their first possession.
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