For two decades, Kobe Bryant did everything he could to make the Los Angeles Lakers proud. So Friday night, prior to the Lakers playing their first game since Bryant’s devastating death, the franchise did the same.
The Lakers delivered a moving and memorable tribute to the franchise’s longtime superstar, who was killed in a helicopter crash Sunday.
The tribute included a 24.2-second moment of silence after Usher performed a rendition of Amazing Grace and Ben Hong played Hallelujah on the cello while an emotional video of Bryant played on the arena’s videoboard.
The Lakers' tribute to Kobe Bryant ?? pic.twitter.com/jI0wwlSqhk
— ESPN (@espn) February 1, 2020
In addition, both the No. 24 jersey of Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna’s No. 2 uniform draped over a pair of seats. The 13-year-old Gianna was among the nine killed in the crash as well.
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) February 1, 2020
The organization presented 20,000 shirts to fans in attendance with each number Bryant wore — No. 8 and No. 24 — on one side of the shirt. Those shirts had the same ‘KB’ patch on it that the Lakers uniforms did.
Outside the arena there were murals where supporters could write their own messages to Bryant.
It was all in tribute to the five-time NBA champion, who, as James said, will never be forgotten.
Well done, LA.