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. Usher started off the tribute by singing "Amazing Grace" for the audience. He was followed by artist Ben Hong, who played the cello during a tribute video. And before the game began, the Boyz II Men performed the "Star-Spangled Banner."
This was followed up by a speech from LeBron James, which you can read in full here.
Then, as the players went onto the court, Kobe's name, jersey number and high school was announced in lieu of the athletes'.
During halftime, Charlie Puth and Wiz Khalifa performed their hit son "See You Again."
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.
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.
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.
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."