Kobe Bryant No. 24
Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Kobe Bryant spent all 20 of his seasons in the NBA as one of the fiercest rivals of the Dallas Mavericks. That included the Los Angeles Lakers great winning five NBA titles.

None of that matters on this Sunday. Hours after Bryant’s tragic passing at the age of 41 in a helicopter accident that also claimed the life of his daughter, among others, the Mavericks are paying their respects.

Owner Mark Cuban announced Sunday evening that no Mavericks player from here on out will wear Bryant’s No. 24 jersey. The team has decided to retire said number.

It’s small things like these that allows us to take a step back and realize what Bryant’s life and legacy has meant to the broader NBA world.

We’ve seen an outpouring of grief and shock from some of the game’s greatest since news of Bryant’s passing came across the news wire. We’ve seen players on the court let their emotions take over.

In “retiring” Bryant’s number, Cuban and the Mavericks are making it clear just how devastated they are.

We would be not surprised if other NBA teams followed their lead moving forward.