The All-Star big fella, who was inspired by Bryant to pick up a basketball, finished with 24 points in the Philadelphia Sixers’ 115-104 win against the visiting Golden State Warriors.
Embiid, perhaps appropriately, also grabbed eight defensive rebounds.
Per The AP:
“That was the turning point in my life,” Embiid said. “It was watching Kobe. After watching, I just wanted to be like him.”
Embiid and the rest of the Sixers wore No. 24 and No. 8 Bryant jerseys in warmups in honor of the Los Angeles Lakers star, who was killed Sunday in a helicopter crash. Embiid was granted permission from Hall of Famer Bobby Jones to wear the retired No. 24 instead of his usual 21 for his first game since he tore a ligament in a finger in his left hand.
“It was tough but that’s how you honor him, you go out there and you do your best,” Embiid said. “You work hard and you play through stuff.”