The Brooklyn Nets celebrated the life and legacy of The Notorious B.I.G. on “Biggie Night,” which was held at Barclays Center in his hometown on Sunday (March 12).
The rap legend’s family was on hand to celebrate the occasion, including his mother Voletta Wallace, his widow Faith Evans, and his children, Christopher Jordan and T’yanna.
Grabbing the microphone at center court during a special halftime ceremony, Voletta spoke about her late son before his jersey was retired. “I have to remember what my son said in the past,” she told the crowd. “Brooklyn, we did it!”
Biggie’s close friends and collaborators, Diddy and Lil’ Kim, were also present. In fact, it was Puff Daddy who introduced a permanent B.I.G. banner at the arena.
“Usually we do a moment of silence,” he said. “But in honor of Biggie being from Brooklyn, he always said, ‘Spread love the Brooklyn way.’ I would like to get 10 seconds of Brooklyn noise.”
Following a roar from the crowd, Diddy pointed to the rafters where a black-and-white banner was being unveiled. “This banner honoring the life and legacy of Biggie Smalls will hang permanently at Barclays Center,” said the arena announcer.
With “Mo Money Mo Problems” playing, the banner was unveiled. It reads: “The Notorious B.I.G. — 72 — ‘Spread Love, It’s The Brooklyn Way.’” The number 72 references his birth year, 1972, while the lyric comes from Biggie’s breakout single, “Juicy.” The banner hangs next to one that commemorates Jay Z as the arena’s grand opening artist.
Last week, friends and fans paid tribute to Biggie on the 20th anniversary of his death.