A memorial service has been held at the Staples Centre, Los Angeles for late NBA star Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, 13, who were killed in a helicopter crash on January 26.
Late Kobe Bryant‘s wife, Vanessa Bryant, paid an emotional tribute to her late husband, speaking candidly to the crowd while occasionally choking back tears.
Dressed in all black, Vanessa spoke first about daughter Gianna, saying;
Gianna Bryant was an amazingly sweet and gentle soul. She was one of my very best friends. I loved the way she looked up at me while hugging me. It was as if she was soaking me all in.
She went on to talk about her husband saying people described him as a fierce competitor on the basketball court, but to her;
He was my sweet husband and the beautiful father of our children. He was my everything. Babe, take care of our Gigi. And I got Nani, Bibi and Coco. We’re still the best team.
The year 2020, his wife said, symbolizes his 20 years with the Lakers and the 20 years the Bryants were a couple.
Beyonce and Alicia Keys performed and fans, with and without tickets into the center, paid their respects outside of the stadium.
Earlier, Ms Bryant announced she is suing the owner of the helicopter in which her husband, her daughter and seven other people were travelling when it crashed in fog.
Around 20,000, including many of the NBA’s biggest luminaries, were expected to attend the Monday service in Staples Center, which became known as the “House that Kobe Built” during his career with the Los Angeles Lakers.
According to Vanessa Bryant, she chose the date — 2/24/2020 — for deeply personal reasons.
Gianna, an aspiring basketball star, wore No. 2, and her father, Kobe wore No. 24 during the latter part of his NBA career.
See photos from the memorial service below: