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Peyton Manning honors Kobe Bryant in heartwarming speech at NFL Honors event

The Colts/Broncos legend honored Bryant on Saturday before the Super Bowl

The city of Los Angeles will host a public memorial service for Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and the seven others who died in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26 in Calabasas. In this photo, former NFL quarterback Peyton Manning pays tribute to Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna at the NFL Honors football award show Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020, in Miami. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Former NFL quarterback Peyton Manning pays tribute to Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna at the NFL Honors football award show Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020, in Miami.
David J. Phillip, Associated Press

Former Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning honored Kobe Bryant during the NFL Honors show on Saturday night, Mashable reports.

What happened: Mannings spoke at the NFL Honors event where he talked about Bryant’s legacy and his first interaction with Bryant, according to the Indy Star.

  • Manning mentioned Bryant’s passing for sports and his determination to succeed, too.
  • Manning: “I was lucky to call Kobe my friend. Our careers overlapped almost identically.”
  • Manning: “I remember meeting him for the first time in the Lakers locker room in 1999.”
  • Manning: “We immediately recognized mutual appreciation for what it took to do our jobs well. His sport was different, but the way that Kobe prepared, the way he analyzed the game, that was very familiar.”

Bigger picture: Manning wasn’t the only one to honor Bryant at the Super Bowl. Jennifer Lopez and Shakira supported Bryant at the halftime show, too, according to CNN.

  • CNN said: “An overhead shot of the field showed a giant cross, which lit up in purple and yellow, the colors of the Los Angeles Lakers for whom Bryant played for from 1996 until his retirement in 2016.”