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Joel Embiid Pays Tribute to Childhood Hero Kobe Bryant With Special Under Armour Shoes 

Philadelphia 76ers player Joel Embiid is honoring late basketball legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna Bryant.

On Jan. 27, which marked a year and a day since Kobe and his daughter tragically died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, Ca., Embiid honored the beloved athlete by wearing special Under Armour shoes during his game against the Los Angeles Lakers.

The custom shoes featured a hand painting of a photograph Kobe and Gianna took together while at a Lakers game in 2019. The shoes featured black and purple uppers with yellow paneling, a nod to the Lakers — the only team Kobe ever played for. The shoes also featured Kobe’s jersey numbers, 8 and 24 as well as Gianna’s Mamba Sports Academy number 2. Before her death, Gianna had followed in the foot steps of her father and embarked on her own successful career in basketball.

Swipe to see Embiid’s game day shoes.

Embiid, who has his own Under Armour basketball shoes, shared photos from the game on Instagram, including a closeup shot of the custom shoes. “Big time shot and a great win. WE MOVE #24,” he captioned the post.

This wouldn’t be the first time Embiid has paid tribute to Kobe. Last year, shortly after Kobe’s death, Embiid changed his jersey number from 21 to 24 for one game. Embiid has also previously expressed that he watched and admired Kobe growing up in Cameroon.

Other NBA stars, including Steph Curry also remembered Kobe on the anniversary of his death. For Curry’s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Golden State Warriors guard also wore custom Under Armour shoes that feature the same photograph as Embiid’s game day sneakers. Curry’s footwear was created by Dez Customz Arts and Customs and were also adorned with Kobe’s famous phrase #GirlDad.

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