Today was the public memorial for Kobe and Gianna Bryant. The event was held at The Staples Center with over 20,000 fans in attendance. Also celebrated during the memorial were the other seven victims of the helicopter, Payton Chester, 13; Sarah Chester, 45; Alyssa Altobelli, 14; Keri Altobelli, 46; John Altobelli, 56; Christina Mauser, 38; and Ara Zobayan, 50.
Beyonce started off the celebration by performing “XO” and “Halo.” Alicia Keys also performed “Moonlight Sonata,” as it was one of Kobe and Vanessa’s favorite songs. Other performers included Christina Aguilera,
During the ceremony, Jimmy Kimmel was the first to speak, and he introduced Vanessa Bryant. An emotional Bryant told stories about both Kobe and Gianna, also explaining how much the two had in common. She discussed Gianna’s personality, sense of humor, and go-to style. Vanessa said, “I miss her sweet kisses, her cleverness… Gigi was sunshine, she brightened up my day, every day,” Vanessa said. She also discussed the moments she wouldn’t be able to see her daughter complete, including attending high school, walking down the aisle in her wedding, and have babies.
When talking about Kobe, Vanessa referred to him by some of his nicknames, including “Koko, my Boo Boo, my Bae Boo, my Papi Chulo.” She also reminisced about their love story, which began when she was 17 and a half. “We balanced each other out,” she shared before speaking about of how romantic Kobe was. She shared that he always looked forward to Valentine’s Day and their anniversaries. She also revealed that Kobe loved being the MVP or “MVD” of girl dads, “he never left the toilet seat up.” Vanessa joked. She received a standing ovation after speaking.
Celebrities in attendance during the event included LL Cool J, Jennifer Lopez, Alex Rodriguez, and Kerri Walsh. Others who spoke during the memorial include Sabrina Ionescu, Diana Taurasi, Geno Auriemma, Rob Pelinka, Shaquille O’Neal, and Michael Jordan. During his speech, Michael Jordan joked about how he will be on another crying meme after his speech.
Many fans took to social media to reflect and discuss the memorial. See some of the tweets below.