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Nets leave two seats open on sideline in honor of Kobe, Gianna Bryant

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The Brooklyn Nets paid their respects to Kobe and Gianna Bryant before their game on Wednesday.

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Detroit Pistons v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

Over the past few days, teams across the NBA have done tributes for Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna, both of whom were among the nine people killed in a tragic helicopter crash in Calabasas on Sunday.

Some teams have made tribute videos, while others have made custom jerseys with Bryant’s name on the back. On top of that, every team but the Lakers, who haven’t played since Bryant’s death, has taken a 24-second shot clock violation and an eight-second violation to honor Bryant, who wore the numbers eight and 24 over the course of his illustrious 20-year career.

The Brooklyn Nets did their own tribute for Kobe and Gianna on Wednesday, leaving two courtside seats empty in remembrance of them, and the seats that were selected held some significance.

The University of Connecticut did something similar for Gianna on Monday, leaving flowers and custom jersey on an empty seat for the 13-year-old, who had aspirations of playing for the esteemed basketball program at UConn.

Following the Nets’ win over the Pistons — a game in which Irving scored 20 points — the 27-year-old guard took a moment to remember his friend and mentor Kobe, and he paid his respects to Gianna, too.

Irving didn’t play in the Nets’ game on Sunday after learning of Bryant’s death.

Everyone’s going to heal at their own pace, but the hope is that player will eventually be able to honor Bryant by simply playing the game they love and obsessively try to get better at it every day like Bryant did for all 20 years of his career.

That’s the Mamba Mentality, and that’s how he’ll be remembered.

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