In an emotional postgame interview, Seattle Storm guard Jewell Loyd dedicated Tuesday’s WNBA Finals victory to Kobe Bryant.
After sweeping the Las Vegas Aces in the best-of-five series with a 92-59 win in Game 3, Loyd paid tribute the Bryants, who were killed outside of Los Angeles in a helicopter crash in January and Breonna Taylor, a Black woman killed by Louisville police in March.
“This year has been a lot for me,” said Loyd, who considered Bryant a mentor. “This is for Kobe, Gigi, the Bryant family and for Breonna Taylor. We had a lot of emotions coming into this game. For me, this season I had to pay [tribute] to him.”
Loyd, who grew close to Bryant in recent years, wears the No. 24 to honor him.
“It’s my first season without him. I surrounded myself with people that knew him and I just focused in,” Loyd said.
Called the “Gold Mamba” by Kobe, Loyd said her shoes and her nickname helped her focus.
“It’s the gold shoes, knowing that I’m unique, I’m special,” said Loyd. “I wore the shoes because of Kobe. His jersey number is everything. He was the first person to ever believe in me before I got into the league. It’s special. It’s special.”
This Finals victory was her second WNBA title. Loyd had 19 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists in the title-clinching win.
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