Lakers Pay Tribute To Kobe Bryant In First Game Since Tragic Death

Basketball News

Los Angeles Lakers honoured their departed legend Kobe Bryant ahead of their game against the Portland Trail Blazers with an emotional pre-game ceremony.

Written By Sreehari Menon | Mumbai | Updated On:

The Los Angeles Lakers returned for their first NBA game at the Staples Center since the tragic death of legend Kobe Bryant and his 13-year old daughter Gianna. The Lakers were slated to play the Clippers on Tuesday. However, the game was postponed after the tragic news. Tributes poured in for Kobe Bryant and the victims throughout the entire duration of the Lakers vs Trail Blazers game. Eventually, the Lakers lost.

Also Read: Gianna Bryant Jersey Retirement: Fans Continue To Sign Online Petition In LA

How Los Angeles Lakers paid tribute to Kobe Bryant

The Trail Blazers, who played on Sunday against Indiana, shared a tribute video for Kobe and Gigi on Friday. Carmelo Anthony, who shared a close personal relationship with Kobe Bryant, was unavailable for the game as he continues to grieve the death of his friend. Blazers’ Damian Lillard said that he knows Anthony and Kobe shared a great bond and he respects his decision. 

Boyz II Men then sang the national anthem wearing Bryant's No. 8. Also, Grammy Award winner Usher sang Amazing Grace in front of No. 8 and No. 24 shaped bouquets, the two numbers Bryant wore during his 20-year career with the Lakers. 

Also Read: Tributes Amass Outside The Lakers' Stadium For Kobe Bryant

Lakers tribute: Emotional scenes at the Staples Center

Every seat at the Staples Center was draped with either a yellow No. 8 or a No. 24 jersey. Kobe Bryant’s two numbers and initials were also placed on the court as a tribute to the departed legend. Once the game kick-started, the Lakers did a symbolic 24-second violation and the Blazers did an eight-second backcourt violation. Again, this represented both of Bryant’s jersey numbers at Lakers. LeBron James gave a heartfelt speech, while fans lit candles outside the Staples centre. 

Also Read: Staples Center Witnesses Sea Of Fans Paying Tribute To Kobe Bryant Ahead Of Lakers' Match

Also Read: Lakers Return After Bryant's Death, Lose 127-119 To Blazers

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