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LeBron James Gives Powerful Speech About Kobe Bryant Before First Game Since Death

The Los Angeles Lakers honored the late Kobe Bryant with a tribute before the first game following his death ... with emotional performances by Usher and cellist Ben Hong ... and a powerful speech by LeBron James.

The Lakers superstar took center court to address the fans in attendance ... and spoke straight from the heart, calling Kobe his brother and calling the night a celebration of his career.

Prior to LBJ's speech. Usher performed a strong rendition of "Amazing Grace" while the video board showed a montage of the tributes that have popped up throughout the world, and Hong played while Bryant's on-and-off the court accomplishments flashed on the screen for all the fans to enjoy.