The Los Angeles Lakers returned to Staples Center on Friday night to play their first game since a helicopter accident took the lives of Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and seven other people on Sunday in California.

Bryant shirts were placed on every seat for fans in attendance at Staples Center, but two seats were left open for Kobe and Gianna.

To start off the pregame ceremony, Usher sang “Amazing Grace” in front of numbers 8 and 24.

That was followed by an awesome video tribute to Kobe.

Boyz II Men sang the national anthem.

And LeBron James concluded the ceremony with a beautiful, heartfelt speech.

Fans also chanted “Kobe!” and “Gigi!”

In the starting lineup intros, the Lakers introduced every player as Kobe Bryant.

It’s so hard to imagine playing a basketball game after all of this, but the Lakers and Portland Trail Blazers will try to now.

About Matt Clapp

Matt is an editor at The Comeback. He attended Colorado State University, wishes he was Saved by the Bell's Zack Morris, and idolizes Larry David. And loves pizza and dogs because obviously.

He can be followed on Twitter at @Matt2Clapp (also @TheBlogfines for Cubs/MLB tweets and @DaBearNecess for Bears/NFL tweets), and can be reached by email at mclapp@thecomeback.com.