Usher stood in the spotlight at center court, singing “Amazing Grace” with his eyes closed. Los Angeles philharmonic cellist Ben Hong set the background music during a stirring video tribute. Boyz II Men wore gold No. 8 jerseys and sang the national anthem. A fan yelled “Jesus loves you, Kobe!” before the crowd broke into chants of “Gi-Gi! Gi-Gi!” to honor Kobe Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, one of the eight who died alongside the Lakers legend in a helicopter crash Sunday morning.
After all of that, the Lakers, a franchise forced to grieve the star shooting guard who helped to add five NBA championship banners to the rafters above, had one more surprise in store.
LeBron James stepped to center court. It was he who read the names of the nine who departed tragically in Calabasas, bringing a city to its knees. For the rest of the story, click HERE for the LA Times Story: