Dwight Howard may have lost the 2020 dunk contest, but he definitely came out as a winner.
When he rolled out in signature Kobe’s signature kicks and then dedicated an entire dunk routine to him, it warmed the hearts of many in the NBA community.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 16, 2020
It was also reported sometime later that the routine was supposed to actually include Kobe, whose death obviously made that impossible.
Dwight Howard’s plan on that second dunk was to have Kobe Bryant bring him the Superman cape. Once Bryant did that, Howard planned to show Bryant the 24 on his chest. He said Bryant had agreed to do it.
— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) February 16, 2020
It was a pretty powerful (and incredibly sad) moment, that helped bring the audience together in a collective moment of grief. And, to Dwight’s credit, it cost him a pretty significant paycheck.
As it would be revealed later, the 3x Defensive Player of The Year was offered several triple-figure sneaker deals back in February but turned them all down so he could wear the Kobe’s without any problems.
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) October 1, 2020
To be fair, Howard is a multi-millionaire so it’s not like the guy is desperate for cash.
Still, to sacrifice six-figure earnings to show some love and respect to Kobe Bean Bryant really says a lot about the impact he had on his life.
Then again, that shouldn’t be a huge surprise anyway. Kobe has made an impact on all our lives.