The Staples Center at L.A. Live was a sea of purple and gold garb — and lots of tears — yesterday, as thousands of mourners and fans came out to pay tribute to Lakers star Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna Bryant and the seven other people who perished in a helicopter crash last month. Hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, the memorial was called a “Celebration of Life,” and featured musical performances by Beyoncé, Alicia Keys and Christina Aguilera.
There were also a handful of speakers including WNBA star Diana Taurasi, college basketball star Sabrina Ionescu, Kobe’s friend and former agent Rob Pelinka and NBA greats Shaquille O’Neal and Michael Jordan — the latter, who gave a wet-faced speech about his “little brother.” But the most emotional moment of the event came from Kobe’s widow, Vanessa Bryant, who addressed the crowd and remembered her husband and daughter “GiGi” with love and sorrow, conveying beautiful yet raw recollections about what they were like and the love they had for each other, as well as sharing the pain of losing them. The event ended with a screening of Bryant’s Oscar-winning animated short film, Dear Basketball.
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