Watch the Timberwolves emotional video tribute to Kobe Bryant

Bryant's legacy was closely tied with the Wolves.

WCCO Radio Newsroom
January 27, 2020 - 9:04 pm
Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Lakers team wear t-shirts to honor the passing of Philip "Flip" Saunders before the game against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Staples Center on October 28, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)


Before the teams took the floor as the Timberwolves prepared to take on the Sacramento Kings on Monday night,  the Wolves paid tribute to Kobe Bryant with an emotional video that played on the jumbotron and drew an outpouring of heartfelt responses on social media. 

The video included a photo of Bryant wearing a warm-up jersey with “Flip” written on the front. Bryant wore it before the Lakers played the Timberwolves in the first game after the death of Flip Saunders in 2015. Bryant recalled his interactions with Saunders before the game. 

“I remember him being extremely animated and we used to talk all the time during the game and he was just a great guy," he told the press. 

Timberwolves Coach Ryan Saunders said he remembered that game — and Bryant's shirt — vividly. 

“I remember just seeing him at the free throw line during the national anthem wearing a Flip shirt, and him paying tribute. It's hard to wrap your head around,” Saunders said on Monday. 

Several Timberwolves players and staff have paid tribute to Bryant since his passing Sunday, including star Karl-Anthony Towns.  KAT wore Kobe's number 24, while Robert Covington wore Kobe's other number — 8. 

Towns spoke to the crowd before the tribute video played:

"Every time I met Kobe, I cherished it. Getting able to know him off the court as well and be able to talk to him was a huge blessing," Towns said earlier in the day. 

Bryant's legacy is closely tied with the Wolves — his first game was against the Timberwolves in 1996, and he passed Michael Jordan in scoring against the Wolves in 2015. Alan Horton had the call on News Talk 830 WCCO. 

Former Timberwolves forward Mark Madsen won two NBA titles as a teammate of Kobe Bryant with the Lakers. The two remained close.  He joined WCCO's Chad Hartman to talk about Kobe the family man.

"He would come to the games as a player, and he was always with Vanessa. He was always with his daughters. He would come after you retired and he was always with Vanessa. He was always with his daughters and he just, he loved them so much. And so it's just, it's just hard to think about."

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