Usher, Boyz II Men and LeBron James all paid tribute to NBA legend Kobe Bryant who tragically passed away in a helicopter crash last Sunday.
Kobe Bryant was traveling with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven other passengers when their helicopter crashed killing everyone on board.
The ceremony took place at the Staples Center at the Lakers’ first game since the accident where they played Portland Trail Blazers.
Usher opened singing “Amazing Grace” followed by a video montage of the NBA legend’s interviews, pictures and games, which was accompanied by the music from Ben hong who is a cellist from Los Angeles Philharmonic.
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Boyz II Men who are also from Kobe Bryant’s hometown of Philadelphia came out and performed the Star Spangled banner after a moment of silence was held in memory of the NBA legend.
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LeBron James then came out and after calling out the names of all the victims of the tragic helicopter crash, went on to give the following heartfelt speech:
“I’ve got something written down,”
“They asked me to kind of stay on course or whatever the case may be.”
“But Laker Nation, I’d be selling y’all short if I read off this shit so I’m gonna go straight from the heart,”
“The first thing that comes to mind, man, is it’s all about family.”
“As I look around this arena, we’re all grieving, we’re all hurt, we’re all heartbroken. When we go through things like this the best thing you can do is lean on the shoulders of your family.”
“This is a celebration of the 20 years of the blood, the sweat, the tears, the broken down body, the getting up, sitting down to everything, the countless hours, the determination to be as great as he could be.”
“Tonight we celebrate the kid who came here at 18 years of age, retired at 38 and became the best dad we’ve seen over the last three years.”
“The fact that I’m here now means so much to me,”
“I’m going to continue with my teammates to continue his legacy not only for this year but as long as we can continue to play the game of basketball that we love, because that’s what Kobe Bryant would want.
“So in the words of Kobe Bryant: ‘Mamba Out,'”
“But in the words of us: ‘Not forgotten.’ Live on brother.”
– ‘Tower of strength’ –