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WATCH: Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving rocking Kobe Bryant jersey ahead of game

Kyrie Irving pays tribute with Kobe Bryant jersey
Jan 23, 2021; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) talks with forward Kevin Durant (7) during the first half against the Miami Heat at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Tuesday will be a difficult day around the NBA and for its players. On Jan. 26 of 2020, Los Angeles Lakers all-time great Kobe Bryant died tragically in a helicopter accident in Southern California.

We all remember where we were when news broke that Kobe and his daughter were among those killed as the chopper went down in the Southern California city of Calabasas.

The shock was too real. Kobe Bryant passing away at the young age of 41. His daughter, Gianna, perishing at the young age of 13 with her whole life ahead of herself. Now with the NBA set to pay homage to Bryant, Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving is getting a bit of a head start.

Related: If you’re a fan of the Nets, check out #BrooklynTogether rumors, rankings, and news here

WATCH: Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving rocking Kobe Bryant jersey ahead of game

“You know who I was rockin’ tonight,” Irving said as he was passing by the media ahead of the Nets’ game against the Miami Heat at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn Monday evening.

For players such as the still-young 28-year-old Irving, their childhoods were filled with memories of Kobe Bryant dominating the NBA landscape.

Irving was a mere teenager when Bryant won his last NBA title as a member of the Lakers. He was five-years old when Bryant made his NBA debut and found himself as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers when the Black Mamba retired in 2016.

This type of story has been repeated over and over again as young players came to terms with Bryant’s tragic passing nearly a calendar year ago.

Related: NBA games today – Key dates of the NBA preseason, 2021-22 schedule

Kyrie Irving pays tribute with Kobe Bryant jersey
Feb 1, 2020; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) dribbles past Washington Wizards guard Gary Payton II (20) during the first half at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

As for Irving, this represents his fourth game back since taking some personal time earlier in the season. He’s looking to continue with a recent hot streak that has seen the NBA champion average 34.3 points since returning from said absence.

If wearing that No. 8 ahead of the game is any indication, Irving should go off.