Kobe Bryant tributes have hit the Grammys, the Lakers’ first game back since his tragic sudden death, and beyond. Now, the Lakers legend will be remembered at the Super Bowl.
On Wednesday, at the pre-Super Bowl press conference, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell reflected on Bryant and his importance to the world.
“I don’t think just Los Angeles is mourning the loss of Kobe Bryant,” Goodell began. “I did have the opportunity to meet him. He obviously brought a lot to our world and I think all of us not only feel for the tragic events to his family but as well as everyone else who was a passenger on that helicopter. It’s hard to understand and it’s hard to process.”
Short on details, Goodell says Bryant, along with his daughter Gianna and seven others, will be honored in a “respectful way.”
“I think both of those individuals will be seen on Sunday in some fashion in a respectful way,” he said of Kobe, as well as Chris Doleman, a Hall of Fame defensive end who passed away on January 28.
Shaquille O’Neal will also be honoring his former Laker teammate this weekend. On Wednesday, he announced he’s decided not to cancel his Shaq’s Funhouse Super Bowl Party and instead use it as an opportunity to celebrate Bryant.
“Been going back and forth the past couple of days on if I should even have my event in Miami this weekend. Part of me wanted to stay to myself, as I reflect on what my brother and his family mean to me and my family,” he wrote on Twitter. “Kobe would want us to push through and celebrate life. So let's do just that.”
Across the country and back in Los Angeles, it’s also being announced that a Kobe Bryant reading list will be compiled by the Los Angeles Public Library.
“As one would expect from a passionate storyteller, Bryant also appreciated reading a good book,” Keith Kesler wrote in a blog post on the library’s website. “I searched through old interviews and social media posts to find the books that inspired the Black Mamba.”
The reading list includes The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho; The Illustrated Art of War, Sun Tzu; Blink and The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell; Children of Blood and Bone, Tomi Adeymi; The Hero’s Journey, Joseph Campbell; Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Richard Bach; Lone Survivor, Marcus Luttrell; Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable, by trainer Tim Grover; Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike, Phil Knight; The Silver Linings Playbook, by Matthew Quick; Sunny, Jason Reynolds, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, by Dolores Kearns Goodwin; Thirty Rooms to Hide In, Luke Sullivan and Tuff Juice, Caron Butler.
Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic for Sports Illustrated