Cleveland Cavaliers

Kyrie Irving arrives at Nets game wearing Kobe Bryant jersey one day before anniversary of his death

Kobe Bryant died on Jan. 26, 2020, in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, and as recent as the tragedy still seems, the first anniversary of his death is only a day away.

Tributes will likely come in throughout Tuesday's anniversary, but the first significant one fittingly came from a player with whom Bryant shared a close relationship: Kyrie Irving .

That friendship lasted until Bryant died in January, which affected Irving so greatly that he sat out of Brooklyn's scheduled game that night.

But as Brooklyn won't be playing on the actual anniversary, Irving unveiled his tribute on Monday by wearing Bryant's No.

8 Lakers jersey upon his arrival at Barclays center for Monday's game between his Nets and the Miami Heat .

Teams intentionally took eight- and 24-second violations to open games in the immediate aftermath of the crash, which honored his two uniform numbers, and the Lakers wore the Black Mamba uniforms that he helped design throughout their championship run.

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