Kobe Bryant: Wife Vanessa leads emotional memorial to basketball star and daughter Gianna
Vanessa Bryant has contributed a tribute to her husband, basketball legend Kobe Bryant, also daughter Gianna at a memorial ceremony at Los Angeles.
Former Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Bryant, 41, also Gianna, 13, were among eight people killed in a helicopter crash last month.
Countless basketball celebrities and fans, celebrities attended Monday’s ceremony at the Staples Center.
“Kobe was the MVP of girl fathers,” said Vanessa.
“He had been the most wonderful husband Kobe loved me more than I could ever express or put into words”
Vanessa, a five-time NBA winner, and bryant have Bianca, Natalia, three daughters and Capri.
“He is not going to be able to walk our girls down the aisle spin me around to the dance floor,” said Vanessa, who had been speaking publicly for the first time since the wreck.
“But I would like my daughters to know and remember the remarkable individual, husband and father that he was, the type of guy that wanted to teach the future generations to be better and keep out of making his own mistakes.”
Vanessa began by remembering her daughter, nicknamed’Gigi’, within an”amazingly sweet and thoughtful spirit,” who enjoyed dancing and baking, as well as being a gifted basketball player.
“Gigi would have probably been the best player in the WNBA,” she explained.
“I will never get to watch my baby walk down the aisle, then have a father-daughter dancing with her father, dance in the dance floor with me or have babies of her own.
“Gianna would have been an incredible mommy”
Vanessa phoned her late husbandwho she’d been since she was 17, her”soulmate” and remembered his love of romantic films and the way he was a”doting, palms on” daddy.
“Babe, you care for our Gigi,” she said, addressing Bryant.
“We’re still the best team – can you rest in peace and also have pleasure in heaven until we meet again one day”
Beyonce opened the case, known as a”celebration of life”, by starring XO, through which she explained”I am here because I love Kobe and this was clearly one of his favourite songs”, before also performing Halo.
Jerry West, Magic Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal, basketball legends Michael Jordan and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar were together with current stars including James Harden, Stephen Curry along with Russell Westbrook, at the audience.
Celebrities including Kim Kardashian West, Jennifer Lopez and Kanye West were in attendance.
Before giving a speech that referred to both players were 32, aided Vanessa.
“When Kobe Bryant died, a piece of me died,” said Jordan.
“Everybody always wanted to discuss the comparisons between he and I but I just wanted to talk about Kobe.
“Rest in peace, little brother.”
O’Neal and Bryant, who had been famous’Black Mamba’, won three NBA titles from 1996 to 2004 through an eight-year spell as Lakers team-mates.
“Kobe and that I pushed one another to play a number of the greatest basketball of time,” said O’Neal.
“Kobe and I maintained a profound respect and love for another.
“Mamba, you were taken from us far too soon, just know that we got your back, little brother.”
WNBA good American faculty star Sabrina Ionescu, Diana Taurasi along with Bryant’s former agent and Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka shared their own memories of Kobe and Gigi.
Alicia Keys and Christina Aguilera also played tunes before the crowd observed Dear Basketball, a film based on a love letter and for which he won the best short film Oscar at 2018.
The memorial service closed by Nat King Cole’s song Unforgettable since the audience started chanting”Kobe, Kobe.”