AC Milan have been granted permission to wear black armbands during their Coppa Italia clash with Torino on Tuesday evening in a mark of respect to late basketball great and Rossoneri supporter Kobe Bryant.


The LA Lakers legend was tragically killed in a helicopter clash on Sunday in Calabasas, California, alongside eight others, including his 13-year-old daughter Gianna.

Bryant spent time in Italy while his dad Joe played basketball there and was a boyhood Milan fan, while his father followed Inter and his sister supported Juventus.​


​Milan confirmed on Tuesday morning that Serie A had granted their blessing for the Rossoneri to wear black armbands in memory of one of their most illustrious followers, while there will also be a tribute before kick off.

In a tweet, the club wrote: "In agreement with @SerieA, tonight #ACMilan will wear the black armband in memory of Kobe Bryant, who died in a tragic helicopter crash together with his daughter Gianna Maria and 7 other victims. The whole San Siro will also pay a tribute just a few minutes away from kick off."


Bryant moved to Italy when he was six after his father retired from NBA to play at a lower level. The family lived in Rieti in the heart of the country, before moving to Reggio Calabria in the south two years later. The Bryants also spent time in Pistoia in Tuscany and Reggio Emilia near Bologna.


During his time there, Bryant learned fluent Italian and how to play with a ball at his feet, as well as his hands. It was in Reggio Emilia - the nearest he lived to Milan - that he began playing basketball in earnest. The start of what would be a stellar career.

Milan host Torino in the quarter-finals of the Coppa Italia on Tuesday evening, with the Rossoneri looking to salvage a poor season with cup glory.