Bosses at the Nets organisation held a special evening honouring the Hypnotize musician, real name Christopher Wallace, who was killed in a shooting in Los Angeles 20 years ago last week (end12Mar17).

As part of the celebrations the basketball team retired its number 72 jersey, marking the year of the rapper's birth. The honour is usually reserved for popular former players.

To mark the number's retirement, a banner reading "The Notorious B.I.G. 72" was unveiled at the Nets' Barclays Center home at half-time during their game against city rivals the New York Knicks.

B.I.G.’s mother Voletta and other family members, widow Faith Evans and his musical collaborators Diddy and Lil' Kim all appeared on court for the ceremony.

Introducing the unveiling, Diddy said, "We are truly humbled and honoured to be here. This week passed the 20th anniversary of the (death of) greatest rapper of all time, The Notorious B.i.g. from Brooklyn, New York. We celebrate his birth and his passing."

The rapper, also known as Biggie Smalls, was born in Brooklyn and often celebrated the New York borough in his music.

The Nets' banner also quoted a lyric from Biggie's track Juicy, "Spread love, it's the Brooklyn way".

Diddy posted a video of the event on Twitter with the caption, "I cant believe this just happened!! #wemissyouBIG GOD IS THE GREATEST BIG FOREVER!!! Thank you @BrooklynNets!!"

Last month (Feb17) Voletta gave her blessing to a new documentary about her son's life.

The rapper's 1997 murder remains unsolved, although many have connected it to the killing of his fierce rap rival Tupac Shakur the previous year (96).

Voletta recently told DailyMail.com that she "had a very good idea" who murdered her son and believed that authorities were also aware who the perpetrator was but had refused to act.