Trae Young Discusses Playing for Kobe, Gianna Bryant on LeBron James' The Shop

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMarch 8, 2020

ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 26: Trae Young #11 of the Atlanta Hawks wears a number 8 jersey to honor the passing of Kobe Bryant during a game against the Washington Wizards on January 26, 2020 at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2020 NBAE (Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images)
Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

Atlanta Hawks star Trae Young opened up about what it was like to take the court hours after news broke of the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna, along with seven others.

Young dropped 45 points and 14 assists in a 152-133 win over the Washington Wizards on Jan. 26. During an appearance on LeBron James' HBO show The Shop, the All-Star guard discussed the conflicting emotions he felt in the buildup to that game:

UNINTERRUPTED @uninterrupted

.@TheTraeYoung had to go out and do it for Gigi & Kobe ❤️❤️ #TheShopHBO @hbo https://t.co/L6hV5OvtUN

Young wore a No. 8 jersey to start the game as a nod to Kobe, and his offensive output put him in the same company with Bryant when all was said and done.

Trae Young @TheTraeYoung

Can’t make this up...😢 He was with me tonight🙏🏽❤️ https://t.co/uvse4bMpuK

Earlier that day, he had reminisced about meeting Gianna:

Trae Young @TheTraeYoung

...This S*** can’t be real... this the first moment I was able to meet Gianna Maria, she’s been to only 3 games this year... 2 of them were mine... She told me I was her favorite player to watch🙏🏽 I can’t believe this😢😭 Rest Easy Gigi❤️ https://t.co/IfDrE9Gjlv

"We didn't have a lot on our mind besides Kobe and Gigi and everybody in the accident," he said after the game to Fox Sports Southeast's Andre Aldridge (via Sarah K. Spencer of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution). "We just wanted to go out and play hard, have that mamba mentality."


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