Vanessa Bryant took the stage at the Staples Center on Monday, February 24 for the “Kobe Bryant: A Celebration of Life” memorial service honoring the late NBA legend, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, and the seven others who tragically lost their lives in a helicopter crash last month.
Bryant delivered a powerful, emotional speech to the packed arena and received a standing ovation when it was all said and done.
“I couldn’t see him as a celebrity, nor just an incredible basketball player,” Bryant said during her speech. “He was my sweet husband and the beautiful father of our children. He was my—he was my everything.”
Bryant also spoke at length about Gianna and Kobe’s close bond saying, “God knew they couldn’t be on this earth without each other. He had to bring them home to heaven together… Babe, you take care of our Gigi. And I got Nati, Bibi and Coco. We’re still the best team. May you both rest in peace and have fun in Heaven until we meet again one day.”
Vanessa Bryant speaks about her daughter, Gigi.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 24, 2020
The date for memorial service is very symbolic: 2/24/20. Kobe’s 13-year-old daughter Gigi, who was one of the nine passengers who tragically lost their lives in the helicopter crash, wore No. 2 during her youth basketball career. Bryant wore No. 24 at the end of his career and it is one of the two jersey numbers he has had retired by the Los Angeles Lakers.
As for the No. 20, it is the number of years Bryant spent with the Lakers and the number of years he was married to his wife, Vanessa.
Tickets for the event were available for prices between $24.02 and $224. All of the proceeds will go to the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation. The event will air live on NBA TV, with the Lakers also saying live streams will be available on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
‘Kobe Bryant: Celebration of Life’ Viewing Details
Date: Monday, February 24, 2020
Time: 1:00 P.M. EST
Location: Staples Center in Los Angeles, California
TV Channel: NBA TV