SALT LAKE CITY — Sunday marked the first birthday of Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant following his passing in a January helicopter crash that also claimed the lives of his daughter Gianna and seven others.

Athletes from around the sports world — including some with local connections — paid tribute to Bryant in a variety of ways.

  • Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell wore custom shoes with Bryant’s image on them as he warmed up for Game 4 of the Jazz’s playoff series against the Denver Nuggets, and on Monday he made mention of it on his Instagram story, as many also recognize Aug. 24 as “Kobe Day” since Bryant wore both No. 8 and No. 24 during his career.
  • Philadelphia Phillies star Bryce Harper, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, wore a Bryant No. 8 jersey underneath his Phillies jersey as they played the Atlanta Braves on Sunday, and after the game, Harper shared his feelings about Bryant in an Instagram post, saying he was his “hero” growing up.
  • Former University of Utah star Kyle Kuzma, who is in his third season with the Lakers, wrote on Twitter, “24 main message to me was to attack life and the game with tenacity. If you do that you’ll have no regrets. Have fun. Be you. Never change....My brother. Hope you well.”
  • Jazz sixth man Jordan Clarkson, who played the first 312 seasons of his career with the Lakers from 2014-2018 (Bryant retired in 2016), wished Bryant a happy birthday on Twitter and scored 24 points in Utah’s Game 4 win.
  • The Los Angeles Dodgers honored the Bryants in a number of ways Sunday during their game against the Colorado Rockies. The mound had Nos. 24 and 2 on it to recognize the numbers both Kobe and Gianna wore, every player wore a Kobe jersey before the game and Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully narrated a touching video that the team produced.