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Special Moments From Kobe And Gigi Bryant’s Memorial

Special Moments From Kobe And Gigi Bryant’s Memorial


Lakers legend Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old
daughter Gianna “Gigi” Bryant were tragically killed in a helicopter crash on January 26,
2020. Seven other people perished in the accident
alongside the pair. The tragedy devastated millions around the
globe, but it’s the basketball star’s wife, Vanessa Bryant, who has arguably suffered
the most, having lost a daughter and a husband all at once. Amid Vanessa’s pain, she managed to put together
a memorial service for the father-daughter duo on February 24th, 2020, at the Staples
Center in Los Angeles, California. The mom-of-four chose this date because 2
is Gigi’s basketball jersey number, 24 is Kobe’s, and 20 signifies how many years they
were married. An unbelievable number of fans attended the
A Celebration of Life” ceremony, as well as fellow accomplished athletes and famous
people who love the Bryant family. And given the circumstances, one can imagine
how emotional this event was for anyone who attended or watched the live stream online. Beyoncé surprised fans at Kobe and Gianna
Bryant’s memorial service when she opened with her 2013 single, “XO.” Before kicking off the rendition, the singer
told the audience: “I’m here because I love Kobe and this was
one of his favorite songs.” The singer then transitioned into an emotional
version of “Halo,” a performance she put on in front of a choir all dressed in white. Beyoncé – who sported purple nails and jewelry
to pair with her yellow outfit in an apparent nod to the Lakers’ colors – ended the song
by blowing a kiss up to the sky. Beyoncé was a longtime friend of Kobe. Not only did Kobe take his daughters to Queen
Bey’s concerts throughout the years, but he also had a cameo in Destiny’s Child’s music
video for their 1999 hit, “Bug a Boo.” And after the crash, the Texas native captioned
a shot of Kobe and Gigi on her Instagram: “I will continue to diligently pray for your
Queens. You are deeply missed beloved Kobe.” Of course, it goes without saying Vanessa
Bryant’s speeches about Kobe and Gigi were special beyond measure. The California native started off by memorializing
Gigi, who she remembered as a beautiful young girl with a kind spirit. “She was tender and loving on the inside. She had the best laugh.” Vanessa also took a beat to speak about her
daughter’s athleticism and, heartbreakingly, to reflect on some of the moments they’d never
get to share. “I won’t be able to tell her how gorgeous
she looks on her wedding day.” As for Kobe, his wife described him as her
soulmate. “I was his first girlfriend, his first love,
his wife, his best friend, his confidant, and his protector.” Vanessa ended her speeches by asking Kobe
to take care of Gigi, while she promised to be there for their other three children. Kobe Bryant touched many lives on and off
the basketball court, especially where it concerned WNBA stars Diana Taurasi and Sabrina
Ionescu. Kobe, who was a champion of women’s basketball,
became even more invested in the WNBA when Gianna Bryant began to show great promise
as a future member of the league. This wasn’t lost on either player, as Oregon
Ducks champion Ionescu implored everyone in attendance to strive to continue Kobe’s legacy: “Shine for us, for our sport where he once
did. Invest in us with the same passion and drive
and respect and love as he did his own daughter.” Four-time Olympic medalist Taurasi commended
Gianna’s grit, skill, and fearless mentality: “She represents a time where a young girl
doesn’t need permission to play, her skill would command respect.” Michael Jordan also took the stage to deliver
a heartfelt speech about his friend Kobe, touching on the fact that the two were often
compared to one another throughout their illustrious basketball careers. But as Jordan noted in his tearful speech: “Everyone always wanted to talk about the
comparisons between he and I. I just wanted to talk about Kobe.” The athlete emotionally went on to discuss
how the Lakers great was like a little brother to him, joking how he’d often receive late-night
texts from his protege. “It was a nuisance, if I can say that word. But that nuisance turned into love over a
period of time.” It was unbelievably touching to hear Jordan
reminisce about Kobe, but it was the conclusion to his speech that left many in tears. “When Kobe Bryant died, a piece of me died.” “Please, rest in peace, little brother.”

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