Joel Embiid to pay special tribute to Kobe and Gianna Bryant during Lakers-76ers matchup

Ryan Ward
2 Min Read

On Wednesday night, the Los Angeles Lakers will try to remain undefeated on the road as they’ll face a tough challenge against Joel Embiid’s Philadelphia 76ers.

During this showdown between these two title contenders, Embiid will pay tribute to the man that inspired him to play basketball while growing up in Cameroon. The superstar center will wear custom Under Armour shoes, paying his respects to Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna.

The 76ers center is one of many players around the league that grew up watching the elder Bryant put on a show during his two decades as the face of the Lakers franchise.

Embiid’s tribute to the late NBA superstar comes one day removed from the one-year anniversary of the tragic death of the Lakers icon, his daughter and seven others in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif.

Last year, LeBron James made league history by passing the elder Bryant for third on NBA’s all-time scoring list while playing against the 76ers in Philadelphia. The five-time NBA champion tragically died the next day on Jan. 26, 2020, as the team flew back to Los Angeles.

Although the passing of the NBA legend is still fresh in everyone’s mind, a game still needs to be played on Wednesday, and it could be a potential NBA Finals preview.

The 76ers currently own the best record in the Eastern Conference at 12-6 while the defending NBA champion Lakers lead the way in the Western Conference at 14-4 with a spotless record on the road at 10-0.

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Ryan is a veteran sportswriter who has covered the NBA and NFL for nearly a decade. Along with numerous exclusive interviews with professional athletes, Ryan has been credentialed by the Los Angeles Lakers since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RyanWardLA.