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LeBron James and Anthony Davis embrace before playing the Portland Trail Blazers on Jan. 31 in Los Angeles, California. Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

The Lakers honored Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna Bryant, in a pregame ceremony before playing the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday night, after both died in a helicopter crash over Calabasas, California last Sunday.

On the court: LeBron James "read the names of the nine who departed tragically in Calabasas, bringing a city to its knees," the Los Angeles Times reports, and fans burst into emotional chants of “Gi-Gi! Gi-Gi!” and "Ko-be! Ko-be!"

“Now, I know at some point we will have a memorial for Kobe, but I’m looking at this as a celebration tonight. This is a celebration of the 20 years, of the blood, the sweat, the tears, the broken-down body, the getting up, the sitting down, the countless hours, the determination to be as great as he could be ... tonight we celebrate the kid that came here at 18 years of age, retired at 38 and became probably the best dad that we’ve seen over the last three years, man.”
— excerpt from LeBron James' pregame speech
LeBron James pays tribute to Kobe Bryant. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images
Fans wear Kobe Bryant jerseys at the Lakers-Trail Blazers game. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images
Flowers, hats, t-shirts, shoes and memory boards across from Staples Center. Photo: Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images
Los Angeles watches the pregame ceremony, across from Staples Center. Photo: Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images
The Laker's jerseys, and Kobe's "24" jersey, draped with flowers court side. Photo: Harry How/Getty Images
Kobe's memorial outside Staples Center. Photo: Mark Ralston/AFP via Getty Images
Usher sings "Amazing Grace" during the pregame ceremony. Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
LeBron James, Quinn Cook and teammates look on during the pregame ceremony. Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
LeBron James points at Kobe Bryant's two retired jerseys in the rafters. Photo: Harry How/Getty Images

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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Why it matters: The COVID Tracking Project warns of a "double-weekend pattern" on Thanksgiving — where the usual weekend backlog of data is tacked on to a holiday.

Trump pardons Michael Flynn

President Trump with Michael Flynn in 2016. Photo: David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images

President Trump on Wednesday pardoned his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty in the Mueller investigation to lying to FBI agents about his conversations with a former Russian ambassador.

Why it matters: It is the first of multiple pardons expected in the coming weeks, as Axios scooped Tuesday night.