Kobe Bryant

Los Angeles Kings Pay Tribute to Kobe and Gianna Bryant

The Los Angeles Kings hockey team became the first LA-based team to honor Kobe Bryant at Staples Center on Wednesday night.

LA Kings

The Los Angeles Kings were the first LA-based franchise to honor Kobe Bryant during a game at Staples Center on Wednesday night.

After the NBA postponed the scheduled Tuesday night game between the Los Angeles Lakers and LA Clippers, the Kings became the first team to play a home game at Staples Center following the death of Kobe Bryant, Gianna Bryant, John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Christina Mauser, Ara Zobayan, Sarah Chester, and Payton Chester in a helicopter crash in Calabasas on Sunday.

Before the game, the entire team arrived at Staples Center wearing Kobe Bryant jerseys, and held a pregame ceremony for the victims, led by former longtime Kings announcer, Bob Miller.

Los Angeles Kings players Adrian Kempe (left) and Anze Kopitar (right) arrive to Staples Center wearing Los Angeles Lakers Kobe Bryant jerseys ahead of their game against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday, January 29, 2019.

Miller's touching speech was followed by a 24-second moment of silence, and then a video tribute honoring all the victims.

During player warm-ups on the ice, all the Kings players wore special t-shirts honoring Kobe and Gianna Bryant.

The Kings also created a special logo for Kobe and Gianna which they proudly displayed on their jerseys during the game, on their helmets, and on lapel pins that was worn by all coaches, staff members, and NBC broadcasters, as well as the head coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Jon Cooper.

The Los Angeles Kings logo in honor of Kobe and Gianna Bryant. Courtesy of the LA Kings.

As they were during the Grammys ceremony on Sunday, Kobe Bryant's two retired jerseys, number 8 and number 24, remained illuminated for the entirety of the game. Both jerseys were also on display in the Kings locker room.

The Los Angeles Kings hockey team displayed Kobe Bryant's No. 24 and No. 8 jerseys in their locker room at Staples Center. Photo Courtesy of the LA Kings.

At the end of the first intermission, the Kings played Kobe Bryant's postgame speech from his final NBA game in which he scored 60 points. For those that remember, Bryant finished that speech with the iconic words, "Mamba Out." Before dropping the microphone on the Lakers logo at half court.

Adam Pantozzi/Getty Images
Kobe Bryant's post-game speech from his final NBA game is played during the second period of the Los Angeles Kings game against the Tampa Bay Lightning at STAPLES Center on January 29, 2020 in Los Angeles, California.

The Kings issued the following statement following the tragic news of Bryant's death on Sunday:

"The LA Kings and AEG Sports join our Southern California community and the entire sports and entertainment world in offering condolences to everyone affected by today's terrible accident as we have lost a friend in Kobe Bryant and his young daughter, Gianna.

"Kobe's incredible passion and leadership are traits our organization have long admired. We enjoyed working with him and appreciated the support he showed our hockey club over the years.

"We have lost an unbelievable talent, and a very young and spirited soul, and our thoughts and prayers go to all those grieving as a result of this horrible tragedy, in particular, Vanessa, Natalia, Bianka and Capri Bryant, and the Lakers Family."

The entirety of the pregame ceremony by the LA Kings can be viewed in the video below:

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