Alex Ovechkin honors late Kobe Bryant, wearing No. 24 in warm-ups

Chris Lingebach
January 29, 2020 - 9:31 pm
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Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals honored the late Kobe Bryant, who died tragically Sunday in a helicopter crash, by wearing a No. 24 jersey during warm-ups Wednesday night.

With the Capitals preparing to host the Nashville Predators, Ovechkin took the ice at Capital One Arena with the 2-4 on his back.

The tribute was especially thoughtful considering Ovechkin, who normally wears No. 8 himself, would end up sporting both of Bryant's jerseys numbers by the end of the night.

After wearing No. 8 for the first half of his NBA career (1997-2006), Bryant switched to No. 24 for the back half (2007-2016).

Ovechkin was fortunate enough to meet Bryant in 2016, his final NBA season, a moment Ovechkin looked back on in social media posts the day Bryant died. At the time, Bryant gifted Ovechkin a pair of autographed sneakers and an autographed jersey, inscribed, "To one of the all-time greats."

I’m heartbroken.cant believe... Blessed to have the chance to meet you. RIP Legend. ------------

A post shared by Alexander Ovechkin (@aleksandrovechkinofficial) on

Ovechkin will be putting his No. 24 jersey up for auction, with all proceeds generated going to the Kobe & Vanessa Bryant Family Foundation.

Alex Ovechkin wears a No. 24 jersey for pre-game warm-ups in tribute to Kobe Bryant
Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Ovechkin switched back to his No. 8 jersey – the other number worn by Bryant during his NBA career – for the game, in which he scored a goal against the Predators in the first period.

Alex Ovechkin scores a first-period goal against the Predators
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

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