Thousands of heartbroken Lakers fans respectfully waited outside the House that Kobe Bryant Built in subdued silence to say a final farewell to their fallen hero and his 13-year-old daughter, Gigi Bryant.
Just before the memorial began at 10:28 a.m., Vanessa Bryant walked in with her three surviving daughters to a standing ovation, then took a seat near the stage. Moments later, Beyonce started the “Celebration of Life,” singing “XO.”
“I’m here because I love Kobe,” Beyonce said, “and this is one of his favorite songs.”
Those in attendance were a who’s who of basketball luminaries and beyond: Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O’Neal, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Phil Jackson, Stephen Curry, Alex Rodriguez, Jennifer Lopez, Snoop Dogg, and on and on and on.
Kobe’s wife, and Gigi’s mother, Vanessa Bryant gave mourners at the public memorial for Kobe Bryant an intimate portrait of her husband and their daughter Gianna.
Vanessa Bryant took the stage, first telling stories of Gigi.
“Gigi would have probably become the best player in the WNBA,” she said. “She would have made a huge difference for women’s basketball.”
Kobe’s wife, and Gigi’s mother, Vanessa Bryant gave mourners at the public memorial for Kobe Bryant an intimate portrait of her husband and their daughter Gianna. Watch her moving tribute in its entirety below.
“Kobe was the MVD of girl dads,” Vanessa said. “He never left the toilet seat up. Always told the girls how beautiful and smart they are.”
She talked about how he’d never get to walk his daughters down the aisle, wouldn’t get to be the fun grandpa, how they couldn’t grow old together like they’d dreamed.
“God knew they couldn’t be on this earth without each other,” she concluded. “… Babe, you take care of our Gigi, and I’ve got Nani, BB and Coco.”
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