The most moving and memorable moments from the Kobe Bryant memorial service
Here’s what happened at the ‘Celebration of Life’ event
Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna Bryant and the seven others who died in a helicopter crash at the end of January were honored in a “Celebration of Life” event at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Monday, Feb. 24 — a date chosen to honor Bryant (who wore No. 24 for the Los Angeles Lakers) and 13-year-old Gianna (who wore No. 2 for her middle school team).
The event included a number of high-profile speakers and performers, like Alicia Keys, Christina Aguilera, Beyonce and Shaquille O’Neal, who honored the late Los Angeles Lakers star and those who were lost in the helicopter crash.
More than just a memorial service, the celebration of the Bryants and their friends touched on themes of faith, dedication to family and how devotion to a craft can lead to a longstanding legacy.
And it began with late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel, who kicked off the service, explaining how all proceeds from the memorial service would be donated to the Mamba and Mambacita Foundation. Kimmel then turned emotional as he opened up about Bryant.
“I don’t think any of us could have imagined this. Everywhere you go you see his face, his number, Gigi’s face, Gigi’s number. Everywhere and every intersection,” he said.
Kimmel said Bryant’s death taught him one lesson.
“The best thing I think I was able to come with is this: gratitude. It seems that all we can do was be grateful for the time we had with them and the time we have left with each other, and that’s all,” he said.
“In the Catholic Church, you know, which the Bryant family is part of, at mass we share the sign of peace,” he said. “This is a moment to hug or shake hands with people around you, and it occurred to me that that is something that only seems to happen at church and at sporting events, when perfect strangers who love the same team are suddenly hugging and high-fiving and celebrating together.”
Kimmel’s remarks were among the emotional and memorable moments of the event. Others included:
- Vanessa Bryant tearfully remembered her husband and daughter. “The outpouring of love and support from people around the world has been uplifting. Thank you for all of your prayers.”
- Michael Jordan talked about how Bryant was like a little brother. “I admired him because his passion, you rarely see someone who’s trying to actively improve every day.”
- Los Angeles Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka remembered Bryant’s final text.
- Beyonce performed one of Bryant’s favorite songs.
Follow the stream below for other major moments from the memorial service.
February 18, 2020 10:28 AM
Was this Kobe Bryant’s final text?
Los Angeles Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka said the song was one of Kobe Bryant’s favorites
Michael Jordan vowed to always live in the moment
Vanessa Bryant says God brought Kobe, Gianna home: ‘Have fun in heaven before we meet again one day’What did Vanessa Bryant say at the Kobe Bryant memorial service? Here are the highlights.
Beyonce Knowles Carter honored her friend Kobe Bryant with one of his favorite songs
Kobe Bryant’s memorial service happened on Monday at the Staples Center
The new video is titled ‘Mamba Forever’
Attendees receive a special ticket and T-shirt, too
Kobe Bryant memorial attendees receive free T-shirt, special ticket and program for ‘Celebration of Life’Here’s a look at the T-shirt that mourners received
Kobe Bryant, Gianna Bryant will be honored Monday at the Staples Center