The Mamba Memorial

February 25, 2020

By: Jeff Yoder

Michael Jordan

“In the game of basketball, in life, as a parent, Kobe left nothing in the tank…”



2/24: The Mamba Memorial

Photo: Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images

Vanessa Bryant Leads ‘Celebration of Life’ Service for Kobe & Gianna

Kobe Bryant sold out the Staples Center one last time on Monday. On 2/24, the jersey numbers for Kobe and Gianna Bryant, the sports world stopped to pay tribute to the Mamba one month after the tragic helicopter crash. Kobe’s widow Vanessa Bryant, former teammate Shaquille O’Neal, and a plethora of basketball greats shared memories, tears, and laughs as they said their goodbyes. Here are some of the pull quotes from an emotional afternoon.

“Kobe was the MVP of girl dads… God knew they couldn’t be on this Earth without each other. He had to bring them home to heaven together.“ — Vanessa Bryant

“In the game of basketball, in life, as a parent, Kobe left nothing in the tank. He left it all on the floor… When Kobe died, a part of me died. Rest in peace, little brother.“ — Michael Jordan

“I said, ‘Kobe, there’s no ‘I’ in team.’ He said, ‘I know. But there’s an ‘M-E’ in that (expletive)… Kobe, you’re heaven’s MVP. I love you, my man.“ — Shaquille O’Neal

“(Gigi) represents a time where a young girl doesn’t need permission to play. She demands respect… We will carry on her legacy.” — Diana Taurasi

Eight individuals took the stage on Monday, including Vanessa, Jordan, Shaq, Taurasi, Sabrina Ionescu, Rob Pelinka, Geno Auriemma, and Jimmy Kimmel. In the end, the outpouring of stories and tributes don’t soften the blow of unthinkable tragedy, even after a month has passed. Rest in peace, Mamba.

Video: Complete Memorial Service (ESPN: 2 Hours, 34 Minutes)

Additional Storylines
BuzzFeed: Emotional Pictures From the Bryant Memorial
B/R: Bradley Beal Becomes First Player Since Kobe to Score 50 on Back-to-Back Nights



Trade Deadline: Winners & Losers

Photo: Minas Pinagiotakis / Getty Images

To go all in or rebuild for the future? That was the question at yesterday’s trade deadline as a whopping 32 trades shifted the balance of power in the NHL. Struggling teams shipped away talent for future picks and young stars while those with Stanley Cup hopes bolstered their lineups for a playoff push. Here are the winners, losers, and big names in new places after yesterday’s negotiations.

5 Winners: Golden Knights, Islanders, Sabres, Penguins, Hurricanes

5 Losers: Avalanche, Maple Leafs, Blue Jackets, Predators, Stars

5 Key Trades

GK Robin Lehner: Golden Knights acquire GK Robin Lehner from Blackhawks. (ESPN)

C Jean-Gabriel Pageau: Islanders pull C Jean-Gabriel Pageau from Senators. (NHL)

F Patrick Marleau: Penguins receive F Patrick Marleau from Sharks. (NBC Sports)

F Wayne Simmonds: Sabres make a splash for Devils’ forward Wayne Simmonds. (Yahoo! Sports)

Hurricanes Defense: Hurricanes bolster defense with acquisitions of Brady Skjei and Sami Vatanen. (SI)



Sabrina Ionescu: In a Class of Her Own

Photo: Joe Scarnici / Getty Images

First Player in NCAA History to Reach 2K Points, 1K Rebounds, 1K Assists

Just hours after speaking at Kobe Bryant’s memorial service, Oregon senior Sabrina Ionescu traveled up the coast for a top-five showdown between #3 Oregon and #4 Stanford. The triple-double queen recorded her eighth of the season (21 pts, 12 rebs, 12 asts) in an Oregon win (74-66). She became the first player in NCAA history — men’s or women’s — to reach 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds, and 1,000 assists in her collegiate career. Statistically, the best college basketball player of all time. Amazing…

Highlights | Read More (ESPN)



College Basketball Rankings

Men’s Top-10
1. Kansas (24-3)
2. Baylor (24-2)
3. Gonzaga (27-2)
4. Dayton (25-2)
5. San Diego State (26-1)
6. Florida State (23-4)
7. Duke (23-4)
8. Kentucky (22-5)
9. Maryland (22-5)
10. Creighton (22-6)

(Full AP Top-25)

Women’s Top-10
1. S. Carolina (27-1)
2. Baylor (25-1)
3. Oregon (25-2)
4. Stanford (24-3)
5. Louisville (25-3)
6. UConn (23-3)
7. Maryland (23-4)
8. NC State (23-3)
9. UCLA (23-4)
10. Miss. State (23-5)

(Full AP Top-25)



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🏀 NBA: Embiid Erupts Without Simmons
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