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Kobe Bryant Honored at First Lakers Game Since His Death: All the Details and Photos From Inside


Tonight is the night to celebrate the life of Kobe Bryant.

On Friday evening, the Los Angeles Lakers returned to the Staples Center for their first basketball game since the death of Kobe. They will play against the Portland Trail Blazers.

Before any ball was dribbled and shot was scored, the venue along with the NBA, teammates, coaches, fans and friends put together an inspiring tribute to celebrate the life of one legendary Lakers player. 

Ahead of the game, Frank Vogel told the press, “We’re going to go out and play each game embodying what he stood for.” He added they’re “focusing” on the work, which he said is “mentally therapeutic” for everyone. 

Tonight’s pre-game tribute comes after the NBA announced they will be making a joint donation of $100,000 with the National Basketball Player Association to the MambaOnThree Foundation, which was created with the sole intention of providing support to the families who lost a loved one in the helicopter crash.

For those who missed out on tonight’s tributes, we have all the details from inside the Staples Center. Take a look at just some of the many powerful moments in our gallery below.

Hans Gutknecht/Orange County Register via ZUMA Wire

Lakers Game, Kobe Bryant Tribute

Harry How/Getty Images

Lakers Game, Kobe Bryant Tribute

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Lakers Game, Kobe Bryant Tribute

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Lakers Game, Kobe Bryant Tribute

Harry How/Getty Images

Lakers Game, Kobe Bryant Tribute, Lebron James

Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images

Lakers Game, Kobe Bryant Tribute, Lebron James

Harry How/Getty Images

Lakers Game, Kobe Bryant Tribute

Harry How/Getty Images

Lakers Game, Kobe Bryant Tribute

Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

Lakers Game, Kobe Bryant Tribute

Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

Lakers Game, Kobe Bryant Tribute

Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

In addition, Vanessa Bryant recently broke her silence on the death of her husband and daughter Gianna “Gigi” Maria-Onore Bryant on Instagram. In her powerful statement, the proud mom shared how fans can turn their pain into purpose.

“Thank you for sharing your joy, your grief and your support with us. We ask that you grant us the respect and privacy we will need to navigate this new reality,” she wrote in part. “To honor our Team Mamba family, the Mamba Sports Foundation has set up the MambaOnThree Fund to help support the other families affected by this tragedy. To donate, please go to MambaOnThree.org. To further Kobe and Gianna’s legacy in youth sports, please visit MambaSportsFoundation.org.”



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