The Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks paid tribute on Wednesday to NBA legend Kobe Bryant and the other victims of the recent helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif.
It was the first home game for both teams since the tragedy that claimed the lives of Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and seven others aboard the aircraft.
The Kings, who share the Staples Center with the Los Angeles Lakers, where Bryant played his entire NBA career, honored his memory in a number of ways.
Players wore his No. 8 and No. 24 jerseys to the game, and had yellow heart helmet decals with 8, 24, "Kobe" and "Gigi" on them. The same yellow hearts were featured on the boards.
"The last few days, we've all seen what's going on around the city," Kings captain Anze Kopitar told NBCSN. "I mean, the amount of people who came out and paid their respects to obviously one of the greats in the game of basketball, you know, for us as hockey players, being so many years kind of connected to the Lakers next door, we felt like we gotta pay some sort of tribute and tonight it was every player got a jersey."
Kings broadcaster Bob Miller addressed the crowd before the game. A tribute video was played and a 24-second moment of silence was observed while the names of all the victims were shown on the scoreboard.
The Kings' opponents, the Tampa Bay Lightning, also paid tribute to the Bryants by wearing Kobe and Gigi shirts and the helmet decals.
This was also the first sporting event to take place in the Staples Center since the accident. The Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers had a game scheduled for Tuesday that was postponed.
In Anaheim, it was Los Angeles Angels night and new manager Joe Maddon was on hand for the ceremonial puck drop with several Angels players.They used a puck that had Bryant's No. 24 on it.
During the video tribute, it was noted that two of the victims, Sarah and Payton Chester were longtime supporters of the Ducks and the Ducks Foundation. A 24-second moment of silence was also observed.
Video: ARI@ANA: Ducks honor Kobe Bryant before game