Kobe Bryant and Gianna Bryant’s public memorial service today at the Staples Center in Los Angeles was a lot. It was beautiful but it was A LOT.
It all started when Beyoncé set it off with an emotional rendition of “XO”, then kept the gut punches coming with “Halo”
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That moment was followed by several sentiments from Jimmy Kimmel, UConn women’s head coach Geno Auriemma, WNBA baller Diana Taurasi and others, but no one’s words were as profound and heartbreaking as when Vanessa Bryant stood to address the audience…
The emotions got so heavy that Beyoncé had to reach out and lay hands on Vanessa.
Our hearts ACHE for that woman and her daughters. How she mustered the strength to speak like she did is something we will never know.
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The highlight of the afternoon, if such a thing can exist, was hands-down the sobbing speech that Michael Jordan gave about his “little brother”. Specifically, the self-aware SUPER meta-joke that MJ managed to land in between wiping away tears and snot bubbles.
That’s GOAT level stuff right there.
The second best moment of the afternoon goes to Shaquille O’Neal who told a story that perfectly captures who Kobe Bryant was as a basketball player.
There weren’t a lot of laughs to be had this afternoon, but the ones we got were LEGENDARY moments that no one will ever forget. Well done.
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Kobe’s former agent and best friend Rob Pelinka told a story about how Kobe had learned to play Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” by EAR so that he could serenade Vanessa. Then, Alicia Keys came out to play a song that had instantly become soul-crushing.
Also, it is very apparent that Kobe Bryant loved his wife and family and spent years making sure that they knew it.
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Even now, after the funeral, memorial service, and almost a full month later, it’s confounding to wrap our heads around the fact that Kobe Bryant is dead.
Rest in peace, Kobe, Gigi, and all the people who lost their lives. You will all forever be remembered.