Kobe Bryant came through in the final session, and celebrated with true American heroes at Staples Center.
On Sunday, the Los Angeles Lakers hosted the three American friends who helped thwart a train attack on Aug. 21 in France. Spencer Stone, Alek Skarlatos and Anthony Sadler sat courtside during LA’s 97-85 win over the Pistons, and even played a role in spurring Kobe on to greatness.
When Bryant hit a three-pointer to put the Lakers up 85-74 with 3:44 to play in the above clip, Mamba went to midcourt and high-fived the three U.S. heroes.
“They were encouraging me all game,” Bryant said after the game. “I figured I’d get one to sit down and make sure I’d dap them up.”
It’s a good thing they where cheering him on. The 37-year-old is pretty achy this morning.
The NBA has already been involved in celebrating Spencer Stone when Klay Thompson surprised him on Jimmy Kimmel Live, and Anthony Sadler has made the media rounds. For Stone, though, the Lakers game was even more special, especially the Kobe DAP.
Stone wore the exact same t-shirt he wore on that momentous day in August. It was a Lakers shirt.
“I’m not Superman,” he said at a pregame news conference. “We’re not going out here saving people, but at the same time, I feel like it’s important in this state to not be fearful and to stand up and do something. Otherwise, the terrorists win.”
The timing of the honor was important, if coincidental, after 129 people were gunned down on Friday night in a multi-pronged terrorist attack in Paris.
The Lakers actually scheduled the ceremony honoring the three Americans before the season started.
“It makes me realize what could’ve happened if we didn’t do what we did that day,” Stone said. “Initially, I was very angry. But I feel for the people of France. I feel very connected to them.”
“You have to be ready at all times,” Skarlatos said. “You never know when something life-changing, for better or for worse, will happen.”