Vanessa Bryant, Shaq, Michael Jordan Speak Kobe’s Memorial

Vanessa Bryant, Shaq, Michael Jordan Speak Kobe’s Memorial

Vanessa Bryant, Shaq, Michael Jordan Speak Kobe’s Memorial

Vanesa Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal and Michael Jordan all spoke at Kobe Bryant’s memorial on Monday afternoon.

Kobe, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others died in a helicopter crash on January 26 of this year. Although a private ceremony was held for those whose lives were lost a few weeks ago on February 7, a public memorial was set for today.

The date, 2/24, was picked to honor Gianna whose basketball jersey number was 2 and Kobe whose basketball jersey number was 24.

Vanessa led the way in the emotional proceedings, describing what Kobe meant to her, their family and the world.

“He was the most amazing husband,” she said.

“Kobe loved me more than I could ever express or put into words. I was fire. He was ice. Vice versa at times. … He was my everything.”

Vanessa also lovingly described Gianna.

“Her smile was like sunshine,” Vanessa said.

“Her smile took up her entire face. Like me. Kobe always said she was like me. She had my fire, my personality and sarcasm.

“She was tender and loving on the inside. She had the best laugh. She had the best laugh. It was infectious. It was pure and genuine.”

Jordan, a hero of Kobe’s, also spoke at the event.

“What Kobe Bryant was to me, was the inspiration that someone truly cared about the way either I played the game, or the way that he wanted to play the game,” he said.

“He wanted to be the best basketball player that he could be. And as I got to know him, I wanted to be best big brother that I could be.”

Jordan then added: “When Kobe died, a piece of me died.”

O’Neal offered a similar sentiment, acknowledging that he loved Bryant despite their sometimes strained relationship.

He offered a particularly funny story, as well. O’Neal described a time when he told a young Bryant that there is no “I” in team, only for the star to reply: “I know, but there’s a ‘M-E’ in that mother f**ker.”

Bryant’s passing caused an outpouring of grief across Los Angeles and the United States as a whole.

The hope is that Monday’s memorial will provide a pathway for people to begin the healing process, all while paying respect o the legacy that Bryant ultimately left behind.

Related: Vanessa Bryant Sues For Wrongful Death Over Kobe’s Passing

Charles Kruger

Charles Kruger has been credentialed to cover two Super Bowls, four NBA Finals, and one World Series. A 20-year veteran in the sports world, he has sources spanning the NBA, MLB, NFL, UFC and NASCAR. Currently residing in Los Angeles, Calif., he is Game 7's go-to source for rumors surrounding the Lakers, Clippers and Dodgers.

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