Alex Ovechkin warmed up in a number 24 jersey prior to Wednesday night’s game against the Nashville Predators.
The jersey paid homage to the late NBA superstar, Kobe Bryant, who was killed in a helicopter crash on Sunday night with his daughter, Gianna, and seven others. Ovechkin will sign and auction the jersey off at a later date to benefit the Kobe and Vanessa Bryant Family Foundation.
The Capitals held an eight-second moment of silence before the puck dropped for Kobe and Gianna Bryant.
The Capitals had Kobe’s numbers eight and 24 projected onto the ice.
— Tarik El-Bashir (@Tarik_ElBashir) January 30, 2020
Kobe Bryant was an NBA player for 20 years with the Los Angeles Lakers and retired in 2016. He won five championships and was named NBA Finals MVP twice.
After news of the crash spread, Ovechkin took to Twitter and Instagram to mention how he was heartbroken and blessed to have met Bryant.
I’m so heartbroken. cant believe…Blessed to have chance to meet you. RIP Legend. 🙏🙏🙏 pic.twitter.com/TlpRZdVpu7
— Alex Ovechkin (@ovi8) January 26, 2020
“I was hoping it was not true,” Ovechkin said. “You don’t want to hear somebody have crash in helicopter. That’s tough. He always treat me well when saw me. It’s hard. He was a legend in the basketball world and the whole world, and it is tough. I still can’t believe it.”
Capitals' Captain Alex Ovechkin on the passing of Kobe Bryant pic.twitter.com/ojeLVkg2Hc
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) January 26, 2020
Ovechkin has always been a basketball fan and his mother is a former professional basketball player who won two Olympic gold medals, the 1975 World Championships and six European Championships.
Ovi has been a lifelong fan of Bryant’s and met him three or four different times in his life. The Capitals captain first him for the first time in 2012 during the Summer Olympics. He also met up with Bryant after a Lakers game in 2016, with tennis player Novak Djokovic. Ovi was given a signed jersey and a signed pair of shoes.
The Capitals’ tribute was one of the hundreds across the United States as the sports world mourns Bryant’s sudden loss. The Los Angeles Kings all arrived at Staples Center with Kobe Bryant jerseys on before their game, Wednesday night.
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2️⃣ 4️⃣ pic.twitter.com/aY2U4S14pv
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) January 30, 2020
For Kobe 🙏 pic.twitter.com/tjnHwazeT7
— NBC Sports Capitals (@NBCSCapitals) January 30, 2020
— John Walton (@WaltonCaps) January 30, 2020
At RMNB, we understand that the recent news cycle surrounding Kobe Bryant’s death has been difficult for many, including survivors of sexual assault.
If you’re in crisis or need help urgently please reach out to @RAINN, @1in6org, or one of these 24-hour toll-free hotlines:
– National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255
– Rape Abuse & Incest National Network 800-656-4673
– Childhelp USA 800-422-4453
– National Domestic Violence/Abuse Hotline 800-799-7233
To speak with someone who is trained to help, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800.656.HOPE (4673) or chat online at online.rainn.org.
Headline photo: Capitals
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