Spoilers ahead for Episode 6 of Station 19 Season 3, called "Ice Ice Baby."
Station 19 went in a chilly direction with "Ice Ice Baby" when Seattle was overwhelmed by a blizzard, leaving the first responders of Station 19 to pull out all the stops to welcome and care for civilians who needed shelter. In the process, Station 19 managed to drop a tribute to late basketball legend Kobe Bryant, and it was perfect.
Why would I say it's perfect, especially in a season that got off to a tragic start? Well, the tribute in question wasn't explicitly to Kobe Bryant's death, which rocked the world back in late January. Rather, it was a tribute to Kobe Bryant's legacy as a basketball player who impacted and inspired young fans everywhere, and it came in the simple form of a little girl playing basketball.
While Vic was entertaining a bunch of kids by shooting hoops with them, a little girl shot a basketball and yelled "Kobe!" as countless kids (and adults) have done before when trying to nail a shot just like Kobe Bryant would. It wasn't a sad moment concerned with the tragic fate of Bryant, his daughter, and the others who died in the helicopter crash, but rather a heartwarming moment.
Was this moment added to "Ice Ice Baby" to honor Kobe Bryant because of his death? Well, the episode may have been filmed before he died, as the news of his passing broke back on January 26, and it could be a coincidence that a kid was choosing to emulate Bryant during a blizzard on Station 19.
Yelling "Kobe!" while shooting a basketball -- or really throwing anything at anything -- isn't a new thing, and this could be a happy accident. Alternately, Station 19 could have added the audio of the little girl shouting "Kobe!" after Bryant died as a small but touching way to pay tribute to a basketball legend without lingering on his death.
Viewers watching "Ice Ice Baby" definitely caught the Kobe Bryant mention and hit social media to share their feelings:
One person broke out the heart emojis in the colors of the Los Angeles Lakers, where Kobe Bryant spent his entire basketball career.
Of course, even a tribute to Kobe Bryant that was more about honoring his legacy than mourning his death resulted in some sad fans:
This person on Twitter broke out a Kobe Bryant graphic to go with the crying emoji, which strikes me as both sweet and sad.
Whether people were left happy, sad, bittersweet, or nostalgic by the little girl shouting "Kobe!" on Station 19, they clearly cared. Here's just one further example of the many posts:
"Ice Ice Baby" was the first half of an unofficial crossover between Grey's Anatomy and Station 19. It wasn't billed as a crossover like Station 19's season opener, as Grey's characters didn't fill the episode, but the events of the Station 19 episode were clearly building to the next episode of Grey's Anatomy, and Vic was dealing with her first fight with Jackson.