The Memorial for Kobe and Gianna Bryant


By Scottie Andrew, CNN

Bianka Balcazar

On February 24th, there was a memorial for Kobe and Gianna Bryant at Los Angeles in Staples Center. There were tears and laughter filling up the Staples Center as close friends and family members went upstage to say a few words. “Babe, you take care of our Gigi. And I got Nani, Bibi, and Coco. We’re still the best team. We love and miss you, Booboo and Gigi. May you both rest in peace and have fun in Heaven until we meet again one day” said Vanessa Bryant. Geno Auriemma, Connecticut of women’s basketball, stood on stage to honor Kobe and Gianna Bryant who passed away in a helicopter crash among nine other people just a month ago. “An incredible amount of talent in this room, maybe the greatest collection of talent that I’ve ever been around.” Auriemma had said.

 “Kobe was the MVP of girl dads or MVD. He never left the toilet seat up. He always told the girls how beautiful and smart they are. He taught them how to be brave and how to keep pushing forward when things get tough. I’ll never get to see my baby girl walk down the aisle, have a father-daughter dance with her daddy, dance on the dance floor with me, or have babies of her own. Gianna would have been an amazing mommy. She was very maternal ever since she was really little. Gigi would have most likely become the best player in the WNBA. She would have made a huge difference.” After Vanessa Bryant has spoken emotionally about her husband, Kobe Bryant, and her 13-year-old daughter, Gianna Bryant, Other speakers went ahead to say what they wanted to say. Speakers included a WNBA MVP and three-time champion Dianna Taurasi (also known as the white mamba), “Her skill was undeniable at an early age. I mean, who has a turnaround fadeaway jumper at 11?  LeBron barely got it today.” Also, Sabrina Ionescu, who is currently in college woman’s basketball, a six-time NBA champion, Michael Jordan “I’d say, “Kobe, there’s no I in the team.” and Kobe said, “I know, but there’s an M-E in that mother.” And a former four-time NBA champion, Shaquille O’Neal. There was many more who went upstage to speak, such as Boston Celtics legend Bill Russell, San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers, former WNBA star Lisa Leslie, former Spurs player Tim Duncan, former Miami Heat player Dwyane Wade, former Chicago Bulls star Scottie Pippen, former Boston Celtics player Paul Pierce, former NBA player Caron Butler, Golden State Warriors general manager Bob Myers and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. “Kobe’s last human act was heroic. He wanted to use his platform to bless and shape a young girl’s future,” said Rob Pelinka

They did not say clearly how the Lakers and AEG had planned the memorial of Kobe and Gianna Bryant together. The Lakers had collaborated with Vanessa Bryant, who wanted to keep the Memorial as private as they can from the outside. Jimmy Kimmel, who was at the memorial, was invited by the Bryant family. “Even the great Boston Celtic Bill Russell wore number 24 and a Lakers jersey to yesterday’s game. I knew he would come to us eventually,” said Jimmy Kimmel.