Zach Wilson, NY Jets, Instagram
Zach Wilson, New York Jets, Getty Images

Wilson was one of many throughout the sports world keeping the Bryant family in their thoughts

Zach Wilson was one of many who paid tribute to Kobe Bryant on social media, as this week marked the two-year anniversary of the NBA legend’s passing.

In his Instagram story, the New York Jets franchise quarterback shared a photo originally posted by the Association of Bryant embracing his daughter Gigi prior to the 2016 NBA All-Star Game in Toronto, his last of 18 exhibition appearances.

Kobe and Gigi were among nine lost in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif. in Jan. 2020, nearly four years after the former’s playing career ended.

In his post, Wilson attached purple and yellow heart emojis, referencing the Los Angeles Laker colors that Bryant wore for all 16 of his NBA seasons.

Often regarded as one of the greatest basketball players of all time, Bryant continues to leave a lasting legacy on not only the hardwood but sports in general. Many sports fans originally learned of the tragedy while watching ABC/ESPN’s coverage of the 2020 Pro Bowl. The game subsequently featured numerous on-air tributes to Bryant from the fans, broadcasters, and participants.

The anniversary of Bryant’s was marked on social media by several other NFL representatives, including Russell Wilson, Joe Haden, and Darius Slay.

Though Bryant, a Philadelphia native, was known for his support of the local Eagles, he notably donned the jersey of another Jets quarterback during his NBA championship journey in 2002.

With the Lakers facing the New Jersey Nets (then the Jets’ Meadlowlands neighbors at Continental Airlines Arena) in the final round, Bryant donned a modernized Joe Namath jersey upon arriving at Staples Center for Game 1 of the series.

He’d go on to earn 22 points in the opening contest as the Lakers would earn a 99-94 win en route to a sweep and their third consecutive Larry O’Brien Trophy hoist.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

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Geoff Magliocchetti is a veteran football writer with years of credentialed experience with the Jets and Giants. Email:
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8 months ago

John Altobelli
Keri Altobelli
Alyssa Altobelli
Sarah Chester
Payton Chester
Christina Mauser
Ara Zobayan

Also died in that chopper crash people tend to forget about those