5:42 PM PT — The Lakers have set aside 2 seats in honor of Kobe and Gigi, who watched many NBA games courtside. Each seat is draped in Kobe and Gigi’s jerseys and features a set of roses.
Gigi’s Mamba Sports Academy teammates will be in attendance for the game.
2:35 PM PT — The Lakers will honor Kobe with his #8 and #24 added to the court design … as well as his initials on the baseline. The players will wear a jersey patch with the same design.
Everyone who attends the Lakers game Friday night will get a free Kobe Bryant tribute shirt, courtesy of the team … 20,000 in total.
The hard-working people at Staples Center have draped a Kobe shirt on every single seat — half of the arena will get Kobe #8 shirts. The other half will get #24 shirts.
It’s just one part of the Kobe Bryant tributes at Staples on Friday — the first game for the Lakers since Kobe passed away on Sunday.
There will be a moment of silence, visual tributes to Kobe around the arena and we’re told some players are considering addressing the crowd … but nothing is set in stone yet.
Tickets for Friday’s game against the Portland Trail Blazers are already rising in value — with the cheapest tickets just to get in the building hovering around $800 on the secondary ticket market.
We’re expecting to see a massive turnout both inside and outside Staples Center — where Kobe played for nearly all of his 20 years with the Lakers (the Lakers previously played at The Forum).
Tonight will be emotional. In fact, Carmelo Anthony — who was very close with Kobe — did not make the trip because he’s still mourning Kobe’s death.
Originally Published — 1:26 PM PT