Bulls honor Kobe Bryant before their game with the Spurs at the United Center

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CHICAGO - For the better part of 24 hours, there were plenty of tributes to a player who made his impact all across the basketball universe on the exterior of the United Center.

The team put up a picture of Kobe Bryant along with the Lakers' purple and gold colors in the panels outside the arena soon after his death in a helicopter crash on Sunday.

Since then, and continuing on Monday, a number of fans decided to create their own tributes with pieces of chalk on the sidewalks outside. They wrote messages not only to Bryant but to his 13-year old daughter Gianna, who also died in the crash in Calabasas, California.

These tributes continued on Monday night inside the United Center where the Bulls played their first home game since Bryant's death against the Spurs.

With a number of Kobe's No. 8 and No. 24 jerseys in the stands, the Bulls took time before their game with the Spurs to hold their own tribute to Bryant.

With the stadium lights dimmed, and the ribbon boards featuring the gold and purple colors, the Bulls played a tribute video to Bryant, featuring a number of his accomplishments on the court. With 24.8 on the clock and the shot clocks set to 24, representing both of Bryant's numbers, the team held a moment of silence that lasted 24 seconds.

With chants of "Kobe, Kobe" continuing until tipoff, both teams then kept with trend in the league by honoring Bryant on their first possession.

The Bulls took an eight-second violation as the crowd stood up and cheered, and the Spurs took a 24-second violation on their next possession, once again symbolizing Bryant's retired numbers with the Lakers.

The Bulls would go onto win the game 110-109, and while that result was enjoyed by the crowd, it's the tributes to Bryant that made this night an emotional one for players along with the fans.


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