After postponing their game against the Los Angeles Clippers earlier this week, the Lakers got back on the court to pay tribute to the NBA legend during their Friday game at Staples Center against the Portland Trail Blazers. Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, along with seven others, died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, on Sunday. To pay respect to the basketball star, the Staples Center's entire court was dedicated to Bryant.
The team began their warm ups Friday evening wearing Bryant's two numbers, 8 and 24. Gianna's, as well as Alyssa Altobelli and Payton Chester's, who also died in the accident, teammates sat courtside.
Before the game kicked off, Usher took the court to sing a beautiful rendition of "Amazing Grace," with two purple-and-yellow floral arrangement of Bryant's numbers. The crowd was visibly emotional and crying during the song, as the screens flashed videos of Bryant, NBA players paying their respects, and the words "RIP Kobe."
Following Usher's performance, a cellist played "Hallelujah," while video of Bryant talking about his passion for basketball, his family and life.
The announcer then took a moment to remember every single person who died on Sunday: Kobe, Gianna, Alyssa, John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Payton, Sarah Chester, Christina Mauser and Ara Zobayan. They then had a 24-second moment of silence before Boyz II Men, wearing Bryant's numbers, sang the National Anthem.
ET learned earlier in the day that Trail Blazer Carmelo Anthony would not be playing in Friday's game. A source told ET that the 35-year-old NBA star opted to miss the game with his team because "it's too hard for him" after Bryant’s death.
Since his tragic death, Los Angeles natives, as well as people all over the world, have been mourning Bryant. The athlete's former teammates, including Shaquille O'Neal, Derek Fisher and Lamar Odom, shared heartbreaking messages. Also affected by his death was LeBron James, who was seen breaking down in tears after hearing the sad news.
On Monday, James -- who became a Laker after Bryant retired -- broke his silence on Bryant's death. "I’m Not Ready but here I go. Man [I'm] sitting here trying to write something for this post but every time I try I begin crying again just thinking about you, niece Gigi and the friendship/bond/brotherhood we had!" James wrote in part. "I literally just heard your voice Sunday morning before I left Philly to head back to LA. Didn’t think for one bit in a million years that would be the last conversation we’d have. WTF!!"
Lakers coach Frank Vogel was also emotional on Wednesday, talking about the team's great loss. Bryant was a Los Angeles Laker his entire 20-year NBA career and was an icon in the Lakers organization, winning five championships. Vogel said the team was obviously "deeply saddened" by his tragic death. He noted that the tragedy has brought the Lakers team closer.
"It's been a deeply saddening time for all of us," Vogel said, noting that now, the focus is on making Bryant proud. "We want to represent what Kobe was about, more than anything. We've always wanted to make him proud, and that's not going to be any different here."