Bulls To Honor Kobe With 24 Seconds Of Silence

The Bulls and Spurs will also take eight-second and 24-second violations.

Cody Westerlund
January 27, 2020 - 6:09 pm

(670 The Score) Like other teams across the NBA, the Bulls will honor the late Kobe Bryant in a variety of ways when they host the Spurs on Monday evening.

In an ode to Bryant's nunbers, the Bulls and Spurs will take an eight-second violation and a 24-second violation on the opening possessions of the game, Chicago coach Jim Boylen said. The Bulls will also observe 24 seconds of silence before the game and have a video to remember Bryant, Boylen added.

Bryant and eight others died in a helicopter crash Sunday morning in Calabasas, Calif. One of the other victims was Bryant's 13-year-old daughter Gianna. Bryant was 41.

"This is a really tough time for our game given what happened yesterday," Bulls executive vice president of basketball operations John Paxson said Monday. "I think it goes without saying that Kobe Bryant was one of the great players in the history of our game. So much of our thoughts the last 24-plus hours have been about his family, the other families, what they all must be going through.

"Events like this show how connected people in sport can be, with not only the fan base but those of us in the game. You didn’t have to have the greatest type of connection, but just the game itself means so much to people and the respect that the great ones have, you don’t see it very often. So you appreciate it. So it’s a really sad day and a really sad time for the league. And I know just seeing some of our young kids in there and some of the guys who have been so influenced by him over the years, you can tell they’re shaken up. You’ve seen that all around the league the last 24 hours, and it’s been really powerful."

Bryant was an 18-time All-Star, five-time NBA champion, an MVP, a two-time NBA Finals MVP and a two-time gold medalist who played his entire 20-year career with the Lakers before retiring in 2016.

Paxson also reflected on the sitdown meeting that he and the Bulls had with Bryant in free agency in 2004, one of two times Bryant considered playing in Chicago. The Lakers and Bulls also had trade discussions centered around Bryant in 2007.

"We were fortunate that we were given that opportunity," Paxson said of 2004. "I could tell he had an enormous amount of respect for Jerry Reinsdorf and Jerry’s relationship with Michael (Jordan) and the brand that the Bulls are. The things that always stand out to me after that were first of all how smart of a person -- we knew how smart of a player he is -- and how mature he was even at that time. And the other thing was, in talking about coming to Chicago, it was six years after Michael left. Most guys didn’t want to follow that or have to try to live up to it. What he expressed to us was he wanted to embrace that if it happened. He wanted that challenge.

"I’ve said this many, many times about Michael -- I had an opportunity to be around him for such a long time and seeing that rare competitiveness. The closest I’ve seen -- and I obviously wasn’t involved in it -- but you could just tell that Kobe Bryant had that same thing. It’s some gene in you that is rare. And it’s why there are a lot of really good players -- you could even say great players -- but there are few you could put in the greatest category. Obviously, he’s one of those."

Cody Westerlund is a sports editor for 670TheScore.com and covers the Bulls. Follow him on Twitter @CodyWesterlund.