‘All We Can Do Is Be Grateful’: 5 Touching Moments From Kobe And Gianna Bryant’s Memorial


Topline: Kobe and Gianna Bryant’s public memorial on Monday was full of emotional moments, including wife and mother Vanessa Bryant’s first public remarks since the helicopter crash that took their lives, along with poignant tributes from Beyoncé Knowles, Michael Jordan and other notable figures.

Here are five key moments from the ceremony:

  • Beyoncé Knowles opened the memorial by singing “XO,” which she said was Kobe Bryant’s favorite song of hers, followed by “Halo,” and Alicia Keys, wearing Lakers’ purple, played Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” on a grand piano (which was also purple).
  • Vanessa Bryant paid tribute to her late husband and daughter in an emotional speech: “Kobe, take care of our Gigi. I have Natalia, Bianka and Capri. We’re still the best team.”
  • “He was like a little brother,” NBA star Michael Jordan said in a tearful tribute, adding, “I told my wife I wasn’t going to do this and now I’m going to see the crying meme for the next few years.”
  • Talk show host Jimmy Kimmel also spoke, saying “everywhere you go, you see his face, his number⁠—Gigi’s face, Gigi’s number,” in the aftermath of the crash. 
  • Gianna Bryant, a girl’s basketball player, “would have most likely become the best player in the WNBA,” said Vanessa Bryant, while WNBA player Diana Taurasi said Gianna represented the future of the sport. 
  • Also in attendance were NBA commissioner Adam Silver, Hall of Famers Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson and Shaquille O’Neal, current NBA stars LeBron James and Steph Curry, along with Yankees legend Alex Rodriguez, singer and actress Jennifer Lopez, power couple Kanye West and Kim Kardashian, and Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, among others.

Crucial quote: “God knew they couldn’t be on this earth without each other, he had to bring them home to have them together,” said Vanessa Bryant during her memorial speech.

Key background: Bryant and his daughter were two of nine people who were killed in the helicopter crash on January 26, 2020. Coach John Altobelli, his wife, Keri, and Gianna’s teammate Alyssa Altobelli, assistant coach Christina Mauser, teammate Payton Chester and her mother Sarah Chester and pilot Ara Zobayan also died in the crash. It was reported a few hours before Monday’s memorial started that Vanessa Bryant sued the helicopter company involved in the crash for wrongful death. A private funeral was held for Kobe and Gianna earlier this month, according to reports citing his death certificate. 

Source: Forbes

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