In the wake of the horrific deaths of nine people, including Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter in a Calabasas helicopter crash last Sunday, the sports world has paid tribute to one of its few iconic and larger-than-life individuals.
The Anaheim Ducks themselves honored the victims of the crash with 24 seconds of silence before the game against the Arizona Coyotes on Wednesday, and it got even crazier when Carter Rowney, number 24 for the Ducks scored 24 seconds into a power play in the 24th home game of the season on the 24th shot of the game to make the score 2-4.
Now, Ducks goaltender John Gibson will be adding to the tributes by donning a stunning Kobe Bryant-themed mask for tonight’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Tonight @JohnGibson35 will be paying his respects to @kobebryant and the 8 other victims in this special Kobe mask. It was truly a honor to be able to paint this, sometimes a paint job takes on a whole new meaning and this mask is just that @AnaheimDucks pic.twitter.com/4zLZgRJvBA— Shell Shock Designs (@ShellShockCo) January 31, 2020
Painted by Shell Shock Designs, the mask features both of Bryant’s retired numbers on the sides with stars noting each of his five championship years. The back plate features artwork of Bryant arm-in-arm with his daughter, Gigi, as well as the names of the seven other victims of the tragedy.
No word on if Gibson plans to wear this mask for any games other than tonight, but the tribute illustrates Bryant’s influence and impact not just on the Southern California landscape, but in the sports world as well.