- Jewell Loyd gave a stunning, heartfelt tribute to her late mentor Kobe Bryant immediately after winning the 2020 WNBA Championship with the Seattle Storm.
- Loyd, who was christened the ‘Gold Mamba’ by Bryant himself, said “this year has been a lot for me” through tears in reference to the tragic death of Kobe, his daughter, Gigi, and seven others.
- While wearing gold Kobes and Bryant’s No. 24, Loyd explained that the late Lakers legend “was the first person to ever believe in me” and that she did it all “for Kobe, Gigi, and the Bryant family.”
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Jewell Loyd won her second WNBA championship in three years Tuesday night, but this season’s victory with the Seattle Storm packed a bit more emotion for the 27-year-old.
This time, her mentor wasn’t around to celebrate.
Late Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant was Loyd’s mentor ever since her days as a star for Muffet McGraw’s Notre Dame Fighting Irish. The Black Mamba “was the first person to ever believe in me before I got into the league,” she said.
After he, his 13-year-old daughter, Gigi, and seven others tragically died in a helicopter accident in January, Loyd decided to devote her 2020 season to the Bryants.
Immediately after the Storm took down the Las Vegas Aces 92-59 to win this season’s WNBA title, Loyd gave a brilliant tribute to Kobe and Gigi to ESPN’s Holly Rowe. Loyd â€” whom Bryant himself nicknamed “Gold Mamba” years back, said she did it all for her mentor, his protÃ©gÃ© in Gigi, and the family they left behind.
“This year has been a lot for me,” Loyd said, choking up. “This is for Kobe, Gigi, and the Bryant family. We had a lot of emotions coming into this game. For me, this season, I had to pay to him.”
Loyd played some of the most impressive basketball of her career during the Storm’s three-game sweep of the Aces. She averaged 18 points and four assists per game through the series to help Seattle to a record-tying fourth championship as a franchise.
While wearing gold Kobes and Bryant’s No. 24, Loyd said that she “wore the shoes because of Kobe, his jersey number, his everything.”
Check out the full clip below:
— WNBA (@WNBA) October 7, 2020
- Read more:
- WNBA superstar Breanna Stewart revealed that she spent more than $US30,000 of her own money to rehab her devastating Achilles tear, and now she looks better than ever before
- WNBA superstar Sue Bird gives college basketball’s newest sensation some advice on playing at UConn under Geno Auriemma
- WNBA players united to read a statement slamming the charges in the Breonna Taylor case
- With 2 cartilage tears and a dislocated shoulder, Alyssa Thomas has the Sun on the brink of the WNBA’s biggest playoff upset in years