Going for the last ring like it was the first ...
The 20th annual BET Awards aired virtually Sunday, and the highlight of the show featured rapper Lil Wayne honoring late Lakers legend Kobe Bryant.
In 2009, Lil Wayne had a single called "Kobe Bryant" that wound up being featured on the mixtape "Tear Drop Tune 2." Lil Wayne performed a version of that track as a tribute to Bryant and his daughter Gianna, who were among nine victims in a fatal helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, on Jan. 26. Bryant was selected to the Basketball Hall of Fame in April and will be inducted in a ceremony postponed to 2021.
Lil Wayne used the following unforgettable highlights of Kobe Bryant moments:
Bryant's winning buzzer-beater against the Miami Heat from December 2009
His baseline windmill dunk on the road against the Minnesota Timberwolves in Game 5 of the 2003 conference quarterfinals
His dunk on Steve Nash in Game 2 of the 2006 conference quarterfinals on the road against the Phoenix Suns
Both his tying field goal at the end of regulation and his winning field goal in overtime against the Suns in Game 4 of the 2006 conference quarterfinals
His 81-point game against the Toronto Raptors in January 2006
His fifth championship celebration after defeating the Boston Celtics in Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals
His alley-oop to Shaquille O'Neal in Game 7 of the 2000 Western Conference finals
A behind-the-back into a spin move, followed by a wrap-around assist to Ronny Turiaf against the Golden State Warriors in March 2008
Lil Wayne also featured clips of Kobe and Gianna, the night Bryant's No. 24 and No. 8 jerseys were retired by the Lakers, and Bryant's "Mamba Out" speech from his final game in April 2016. Five days after Bryant's death, Lil Wayne released "Funeral," his 13th studio album, and paid tribute to Bryant then by adding 24 seconds of silence to the eighth track on the album ("Bing James").
The tribute also came a week after the 2020 ESPYs, which saw rapper Snoop Dogg perform "Mamba Style" in honor of Bryant.
Mamba Forever 🙏🏾 https://t.co/FKFdQYr0vw— Julius Randle (@J30_RANDLE) June 29, 2020
ON REPEAT 🔥‼️ https://t.co/mSGyK96JS5— Chris Bosh (@chrisbosh) June 29, 2020
Every hooper knows this song....— Trae Young (@TheTraeYoung) June 29, 2020
RIP Kobe🖤 https://t.co/s2nP1x5MKB
Wayne tribute to Kobe was 🔥! 2 🐐's BET Awards been all that today!— Jayson Tatum (@jaytatum0) June 29, 2020
That Kobe tribute was lit by Wayne— Robert Covington (@Holla_At_Rob33) June 29, 2020