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‘This is a man that has transcended basketball’: Call to honour Kobe Bryant at Australian Open tonight

An idea from 3AW Sports Reporter Shane McInnes has lit up the swtichboard and sparked debate on air.

Shane suggested a moment of silence at the Australian Open tonight, ahead of the match between Nick Kyrgios and Rafael Nadal and 7pm, to honour basketball superstar Kobe Bryant.

Bryant was tragically killed when a helicopter he was on crashed in California on Sunday morning (local time).

Forty-one year old Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, and seven others on board were killed in the accident.

“Given how revered Kobe Bryant is among sports fans & his close ties with a number of tennis stars & sporting media here in Melbourne, it would be fitting for the Australian open to pay tribute to him,” Shane said in a tweet.

Dee Dee supported the idea.

“I’m absolutely with Shane,” the 3AW Afternoons host said.

“I think when there is a death of a famous person you feel it, if you’ve watched the person play.

“Social media is awash with stories and peoples outpourings of grief and just their feelings.

“We should have some sort of a tribute.”

But some callers were quick to trash the idea.

“We can’t honor Margaret Court who was our greatest tennis player, with any dignity … why on earth would we even consider a basketball player that we have nothing to do with?,” Margaret said.

Shane said he was “staggered” by some of the negative reaction.

“This is a man that has transcended basketball and is a global superstar. I’m talking the ilk of Michael Jordan here,” he said.

“If this was an Australian who transcended world sport I have no doubt the Americans would recognise him too.

“The tennis isn’t just about Australia, it is a global event.”

Image: Stacy Revere / Getty