Kobe Bryant grew up an AC Milan fan. On Tuesday AC Milan demonstrated its fandom of Kobe.
Before their Coppa Italia match against Torino, the Rossoneri memorialized the NBA icon, who died Sunday along with his daughter Gianna and seven others in a helicopter crash in Southern California.
A video tribute played at the San Siro in Milan, while the players wore black armbands in remembrance.
Via Storyful/Yahoo News UK:
According to the Associated Press, advertising boards also lit up with “Legends Never Die” and “SempreKobe”, which is a play on “SempreMilan”, a club motto and hashtag that means “Always Milan.”
Additionally, fans stood and applauded in the 24th minute, as Bryant wore No. 24 over the second half of his career.
Bryant lived in Italy from age 6 to 13 because his father, Joe “Jellybean” Bryant, was playing basketball there. He became fluent in Italian and grew to love AC Milan, as he detailed in an interview with the club from a few years ago:
In loving memory of a true legend: Kobe Bryant ❤ pic.twitter.com/4Ysb6FhZeQ
— AC Milan (@acmilan) January 27, 2020
AC Milan won 4-2 with a pair of extra-time goals from Hakan Çalhanoğlu and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Çalhanoğlu also scored in the first minute of stoppage time to extend the match.
Here are more pictures from Tuesday’s tribute (all images via Marco Luzzani/Mattia Ozbot/Soccrates/Getty Images):
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