Sports

NBA: Lakers to commemorate Bryant before game

Team to play first game since death of Kobe Bryant

Can Erozden   | 01.02.2020
NBA: Lakers to commemorate Bryant before game

ANKARA

The Los Angeles Lakers are set to play for the first time Friday since the tragic death of Kobe Bryant.

The team will honor the legendary superstar.

"The Lakers will hold a pregame ceremony for Bryant before tipoff against the Portland Trail Blazers (10 p.m. ET on ESPN)[0300GMT], and will continue to honor him throughout the game," said the ESPN sports network.

Bryant shirts will be on every seat at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

"[Lakers head coach] Frank Vogel says the Lakers coaching staff will all wear Kobe Bryant’s signature sneakers on the bench tonight," according to ESPN's NBA reporter Dave McMenamin.

Bryant close friend Carmelo Anthony will not play in the game against the Lakers for personal reasons, the Blazers said.

The NBA postponed the Los Angeles derby between the Lakers and the Clippers this week out of respect for Bryant.

"The decision was made out of respect for the Lakers organization, which is deeply grieving the tragic loss of Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven other people in a helicopter crash on Sunday," a previous statement said.

The game will be rescheduled at a later date.

Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter were killed in a helicopter crash Jan. 26 in Los Angeles.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said there were no survivors in the crash on the hills above the Calabasas area.

The legendary shooting guard was a five-time NBA champion.

Aa an 18-time NBA All-Star, Bryant spent his illustrious 20-year career with the Lakers.

He helped Team USA win two Olympic medals in Beijing 2008 and London 2012.

Famed in the U.S. and around the world, in 2012 and 2013 he was featured in an ad for Turkish Airlines along with Argentine football star Lionel Messi.

Bryant won an Oscar in 2018 for Dear Basketball, in the animated short category.

The film depicts Bryant as a child, dreaming of becoming a basketball champion and an NBA star.

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