Friday night’s Lakers game was full of tribute to Kobe Bryant, the halftime show was no exception. In the team’s first game in the Staples Center since the basketball legend’s death, they remembered Bryant’s legacy with several emotional performances.
Before the game, Usher sang a version of “Amazing Grace.” Then, at halftime, Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth performed “See You Again.”
Fans were overwhelmed by the performance. “Gave me the chills and made my eyes water up. Tell your loved ones you love them as much as you can and as often as you can, because you just never know!” one said.
“Never cried as much as I have for someone I never met RIP
I grew up with your presence in my life. Thank you For teaching me #MambaMentality I love you brother,” another added.
“Still horrible for fans, those of us who just watched him play his heart out or just admired him. My heart goes out to his family and love ones and to all the victims and their families. This one will stay with me like Prince, Whitney and Michael…. gone too soon. RIP Kobe,” a third commented.
Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth performed "See You Again" during halftime. pic.twitter.com/9hf1BBpRjR
— TSN (@TSN_Sports) February 1, 2020
LeBron James also paid tribute to Bryant with a pregame speech to the fans.
“Now, I know at some point, we will have a memorial for Kobe,” James said in part. “But I look at this as a celebration tonight. This is a celebration of the 20 years of the blood, the sweat, the tears, the broken-down body, the getting up, the sitting down, the everything. The countless hours, the determination to be as great as he could be. Tonight, we celebrate the kid that came here at 18 years of age, retired at 38 and became probably the best dad we’ve seen over the past three years, man.”
Kob’s wife, Vanessa, posted her first public comments about the tragedy on her Instagram account on Wednesday.
“My girls and I want to thank the millions of people who’ve shown support and love during this horrific time,” Vanessa began her post. “Thank you for all the prayers. We definitely need them. We are completely devastated by the sudden loss of my adoring husband, Kobe — the amazing father of our children; and my beautiful, sweet Gianna — a loving, thoughtful, and wonderful daughter, and amazing sister to Natalia, Bianka, and Capri.”
She continued, “We are also devastated for the families who lost their loved ones on Sunday, and we share in their grief intimately. There aren’t enough words to describe our pain right now. I take comfort in knowing that Kobe and Gigi both knew that they were so deeply loved. We were so incredibly blessed to have them in our lives. I wish they were here with us forever. They were our beautiful blessings taken from us too soon.”
“I’m not sure what our lives hold beyond today, and it’s impossible to imagine life without them,” Vanessa wrote. “But we wake up each day, trying to keep pushing because Kobe, and our baby girl, Gigi, are shining on us to light the way. Our love for them is endless — and that’s to say, immeasurable. I just wish I could hug them, kiss them and bless them. Have them here with us, forever.”
She concluded: “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.”