Kobe Bryant, the great, dad, and loving, husband were words spoken by the many people who loved him. Bryant and his daughter, Gianna “Gigi” perished in a helicopter crash along with seven others on Jan 26. The two were remembered in a “Celebration of Life” memorial service at the Staples Center Monday.
Vanessa Bryant, wife of the five-time, NBA Champion stood at the podium after being introduced by emcee Jimmy Kimmel. There she shared who Kobe and Gigi were in her world to a packed audience filled with family, celebrities, the sports community, fans, and those that watched either online or by television.
No matter if the camera panned on Beyoncé (who performed a song before the memorial began, and she also sat behind Bryant and comforted her at times) or Jennifer Lopez, and other stars; this occasion didn’t mark for a who’s who. It was a come-together moment for a man who meant so much to so many. It was a space to uphold a mother who grieves for a daughter who she says, gave the ‘best hugs and kisses,’ and whose ‘smile took up her entire face‘ much like her own. It was listening to the story of her ‘best friend’ gifting her with the blue dress Rachael McAdams wore in the “Notebook” because as Bryant, puts it, “Kobe was the romantic one in our relationship.”
Through strength and tears, Bryant painted a beautiful picture of life with her husband and daughter. And confirming their special bond that everyone always saw in photos. A bond Bryant reflects upon as she comes to terms with her two loved ones no longer here.
“They were so full of joy and adventure. God knew they couldn’t be on this earth without each other. He had to bring them home to have them together. Babe, you take care of our Gigi. And I got Nani, B.B. and Koko. We’re still the best team.”
Proceeds from the “Celebration of Life” ticket sales will go to the Bryant’s recently renamed Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation.
Our hearts continue to go out to the families of the other passengers who lost their lives as well.
By BSM Team
Photo: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times