Home @ PPG Paints Arena Pittsburgh, PA2020 February 18th at 4:00pm
Home @ Little Caesars Arena Detroit, MI2020 February 18th at 4:30pm
During the five long and painful days since learning of Kobe Bryant’s death, the Lakers have had to confront a difficult question in the midst of their mourning:
How would they honor him in a way that pays proper respect to the legend’s impact on the franchise, the city and the game of basketball as a whole?
Friday afternoon, hours before the Lakers play their first game since Bryant’s death, at 7:30 p.m. against the Portland Trail Blazers, the answers began to be revealed.
The Lakers posted a photo on Twitter of a black circle with the letters “KB” inside of it displayed on the baseline at Staples Center, captioned “The House That Kobe Built.” The Lakers’ home gold uniforms will also feature a patch with the black “KB” logo.
Every fan who enters the building will receive a gold Bryant jersey T-shirt. One side of the arena will wear No. 8; the other will wear No. 24.
Lakers coach Frank Vogel said earlier Friday that he and his assistant coaches will wear Bryant’s signature Nike sneakers.
Usher sits alone in the stands at Staples Center before his performance to honor Lakers great Kobe Bryant tonight. @latines @latimessports #usher pic.twitter.com/zTPgcE6DAt
“We’ve been through our ups and been through our downs. I think the most important part is that we all stayed together throughout.” pic.twitter.com/AJDrr1WDIT
2 ♾ 8 pic.twitter.com/DeKsRqcTry
This locker. pic.twitter.com/zoErJY0rnL
LeBron James paid tribute to Bryant with a couple of images posted to his Instagram account. The second image shows his new tattoo honoring Kobe.
LeBron James‘ new tattoo pic.twitter.com/Y5LdEmS1Rn
❤️ My brother ♾ #Mamba4Life #RIPKobe #RIPGiGi
A post shared by LeBron James (@kingjames) on Jan 31, 2020 at 4:21pm PST
Friday afternoon, Staples Center and L.A. Live president Lee Zeidman posted a tweet asking fans who were planning to congregate at the adjacent XBox Plaza to remember Kobe Bryant before and during the Lakers’ home game against the Portland Trail Blazers to watch from their homes.
As we morn the loss of Kobe & Gianna Bryant PLEASE If u don’t have a ticket 2 tonites game DON’T come down 2 @STAPLESCenter @LALIVE Stay home watch w/ur friends & families & hug ur loved ones as we will NOT be showing it on r screens https://t.co/ouUHMxRyeG
Despite Zeidman’s plea, hundreds of people have gathered and continue to bring flowers and other tokens of their affection, honoring Bryant and the eight others who died in Sunday’s helicopter crash in Calabasas.
The Lakers must know their fans, because they brought out fresh white banners of Bryant for visitors to sign on Friday afternoon.
Kobe Bryant’s numbers are on the Staples Center court pic.twitter.com/iHCjZTzrlG