Photos: Bryant’s milestones | Kobe through the years | The scene as people mourn in L.A. Commentary: Bryant accomplished so much, sports columnist Jerry Brewer writes. In addition, every ticket says “Section 8, Row 24, Seat 2” to commemorate the numbers worn by Bryant and his daughter. ", The Chicago Bulls legend was emotional from the first moment of his speech, addressing the crowd with tears running down his face -- and a well-timed joked about "another crying meme." His jersey is sitting in my locker right now. He was one of those guys who would share his talent with us. We talked about business, we talked about family, we talked about everything. “Who has a turnaround fadeaway jumper at 11? Rob Pelinka, the current general manager of the Lakers, next took the mic. In recent days, James has chosen not to speak at length when asked about Bryant. I think it’s unfair and unjust to his family as they try to move on, and we’re all trying to move on. “She was always herself. Vanessa Bryant didn’t mention funeral or memorial plans Wednesday night in an Instagram post that was her first public statement since losing her husband and the second oldest of her four daughters, Gianna, aka Gigi. On the floor, Zeidman revealed, 35,000 red roses are set up in a circle at the center of the stadium. “My body knows it’s time to say goodbye, and that’s okay,” Bryant narrates. © 2020 Advance Local Media LLC. ", The legendary coach then praised Kobe's "original team" -- his family. Alongside the fans celebrating Kobe's life at the Staples Center, some of his famous friends have assembled to honor Kobe and Gianna. "A lot of people are gonna talk about basketball today. She remembered Gianna as a “fearless” and skilled player with big dreams of her own. But then it turned into a certain passion. Shaq and Kobe played together on the Lakers from 1996-2004, winning three consecutive NBA championships. ", Vanessa is seated next to her her mother, Sofia, sister Sophie and eldest daughter, Natalia, 17, at the front of the service. "We never took it seriously. ", "And that’s what I always loved so much about Kobe, and it’s one of the things that I hope people will remember about him," she wrote. Photos are not permitted in the seating area surrounding the 24-by-24 stage, which is surrounded by red flowers and holds a drum kit and microphone stands. Memories are personal. Because this is always about the children.”, Two of Gianna’s teammates, Payton Chester and Alyssa Altobelli, died along with her, en route to a game that Kobe was going to coach. “We really want to listen to Vanessa, to the Lakers, and make sure that we have a chance and the right way to mourn together, as people have been doing spontaneously out on the streets in the next day or two,” Garcetti said. Thank you for honoring my Gigi. "I love you, Kobe!" The Bryant memorial opens with a song from Beyoncé, introduced as a close friend of the Bryant family. "And as I got to know him, I wanted to be the best big brother that I could be. “There are hundreds of murals painted by artists inspired not because Kobe was a basketball player but because he was an artist, too.”, Kimmel noted that Bill Russell wore Bryant’s jersey to a game Sunday and cracked, “I knew he would come to us eventually.”. Keys performed Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata,” a piece that Kobe Bryant had taught himself to play for his wife. We balanced each other out. Alex Rodriguez, the former MLB star, and Jennifer Lopez were also in attendance, along with Olympian Michael Phelps, and Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West. There’s a quote that talent is worthless if you don’t share it.

Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez are seated next to Lakers owner Jeanie Buss and NBA commissioner Adam Silver. In attendance are Kim and Khloe Kardashian, Kanye West, Kris Jenner, Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade, Ciara and Russell Wilson, Bill Russell, Magic Johnson, Jerry West, Gov. She was one of my very best friends.". He isn’t going to be able to walk our girls down the aisle or spin me around on the dance floor while singing ‘P.Y.T.’ to me, but I want my daughters to know and remember the amazing person, husband and father he was, the kind of man that wanted to teach the future generations to be better and keep them from making his own mistakes.”, Kobe Bryant, she said, left valuable lessons and stories behind, and both he and Gianna were “funny, happy, silly and they loved life.”, She concluded, breaking into tears: “God knew they couldn’t be on this Earth without each other. "While this is a memorial event, the word celebration is very much a part of its purpose," an announcer said at the start of the service.

“Kobe and I pushed one another to play some of the greatest basketball of all time,” O’Neal said. Everywhere, at every intersection.". Kobe was my dear friend. “We love you. People are questioning why Kobe Bryant’s parents were barely mentioned at his memorial service, according to EURWeb. “Our love for them is endless – and that’s to say, immeasurable. Sabrina Ionescu, a star at the University of Oregon, said that she too grew up idolizing Bryant, adding that she cherished her first meeting with the Bryants when the Ducks played the USC Trojans last year. I tried to write a long, flowing speech about basketball, and I can’t do it. "Kobe always saw the bigger picture," she wrote. • Beyoncé opens memorial service with ‘XO’. The three emotionally leaned on each other as Beyoncé sang, and with a tissue in hand, Vanessa wiped away tears following the performance. Beyoncé opened the program by singing “XO” and “Halo” — two of Bryant’s favorites. Lakers General Manager Rob Pelinka, Bryant’s longtime agent and close friend, described text messaging Bryant on the morning of Jan. 26, the date of his fatal helicopter crash.

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