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A year without Kobe Bryant

Today marks the anniversary since one of the greats left us too soon.

San Antonio Spurs v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

It hit like a Mack truck. For many, it was unbelievable, inconceivable. But the helicopter crash that claimed the lives of NBA legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, Payton Chester, Sarah Chester, Alyssa Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, John Altobelli, Christina Mauser, and the helicopter’s pilot, Ara Zobayan was all too real, and left the NBA world shocked and dismayed in the days and weeks that followed.

There were tributes, memorials, and moments of silence.

The numbers 8 and 24 were celebrated by all NBA teams and players. The Spurs were one of the first teams to do so by running out the shot clock to start the game.

Pop spoke immediately after the game.

Games immediately after the tragedy started with each team taking a turnover, an eight second backcourt violation and a twenty-four shot clock violation.

Words of praise and love and comfort were offered in abundance. But it wasn’t enough to quell the loss.

The world changed after the reckoning of the accident that took those nine souls, and some never fully allowed themselves to grieve.

This past weekend, NBATV aired Kobe’s final NBA game against the Utah Jazz. More of a celebration than a sporting event, Bryant went out scoring 60 points. The Lakers won. And he walked off the court with all the recognition and love the Staples Center could offer.

The full game will be shown again on NBATV this evening at 5:30 p.m. (according to their website) so check local listings for alternate time zones.

If you cannot watch it, here are the last 8 minutes.

We miss you, Kobe.

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