Sportress of Blogitude

Lakers fans to receive No. 8 or No. 24 Kobe Bryant shirt at Friday’s game

In what will undoubtedly will be played amid an incredibly emotional scene, the Los Angeles Lakers will host the Portland Trail Blazers Friday night in the team’s first game since the tragic passing of Kobe Bryant.

As part of the plan to properly pay tribute to the late Lakers legend, fans in attendance will receive either a No. 8 or No. 24 t-shirt — in honor of Bryant’s two jersey numbers — at the game.

The shirts have already been laid over the seats at Staples — one side of the arena having No. 24 shirts and the other No. 8 shirts — as relayed by Sandy Hooper of USA Today.

Tuesday’s game between the Lakers and Clippers was postponed by the NBA to allow the two teams time to mourn the passing of Bryant, who perished Sunday in a helicopter crash along with eight others, including his daughter Gianna.

There is no question it will be a tough night for the Lakers in their first game action since Bryant’s death, something that has rocked the Lakers organization and the entire NBA community yet has also been felt as well beyond the world of basketball.

The Lakers have attempted to restore some semblance of normalcy this week despite the loss of a beloved franchise icon, an arguably impossible task amid the tragedy.

It is quite likely — not to mention understandable — if players from both the Lakers and Blazers have a difficult time navigating such a difficult and somber situation during Friday night’s game.