The Los Angeles Lakers' tribute to Kobe Bryant at the Staples Center on Sunday night began with an emotional performance of "Amazing Grace" by R&B singer Usher. The moment brought many fans online to tears. Bryant, his daughter Giana Bryant and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash on Sunday.
Usher performs “Amazing Grace” during the Lakers’ tribute to Kobe. pic.twitter.com/NV88OpW5Uq— ESPN (@espn) February 1, 2020
Before the tribute started, Usher arrived at the arena early to take a powerful photo of himself sitting along, among the sea of Bryant jerseys laid out by the Lakers staff for fans. Later, he changed into an all-black suit, which he wore for the performance.
Usher singing amazing grace did it for me!! pic.twitter.com/XrQIkZwrL1— Bille (@Bilaal10) February 1, 2020
After Usher finished his performance, the Lakers played a video of Bryant highlights. They also held a 24-second moment of silence for Bryant and the other victims. Their names were projected on the jumbotron.
That was so moving. Well done Usher. Rest in power Kobe!— Charlie Horse (@CharlesStCloud1) February 1, 2020
Aside from Bryant and his daughter, the other victims were John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Christina Mauser, Sarah Chester, Payton Chester and pilot Ara Zobayan. Current Lakers star LeBron James read the names out before he delivered a passionate speech for the Staples Center crowd.
May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest ❤💯 pic.twitter.com/LTtv7agmq9— Anthony Marinelli 🇺🇸🇮🇹 (@amarinelli98) February 1, 2020
"The first thing that comes to mind is that we're all family," James said. "As I look around this arena, we're all grieving, we're all hurt, we're all heartbroken. But when you're going through things like this, the best thing you can do is lean on the shoulders of your family."
They done started the Kobe tribute off with Usher singing Amazing Grace and a church organ pic.twitter.com/jMbaHV8pUA— Moneybagg No (@Im_aMenace) February 1, 2020
"From Sunday morning, all the way until this point - now, I heard about Laker nation before I got here last year, about how much of a family it is - and that is absolutely what I've seen this week," James continued. "Not only from the players, not only from the coaching staff, not only from the organization, but from everybody."
This is surreal .— Wale (@Wale) February 1, 2020
Bryant played his entire 20-year career with the Lakers, winning five NBA Championships and had both numbers 8 and 24 retired. He also won gold medals at the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics with Team USA.
Photo credit: Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images