It’s almost been a month since the tragic death of Los Angeles Laker Star Kobe Bryant and his beloved uprising basketball star daughter, Gianna Bryant. To honor one of Bryant’s famous jersey numbers over the years of his dedication to the Lakers, and his Mamba star Gianna, “2/24” will definitely be an honorary tradition for the city of Los Angeles.
His memorial service was held at the Staples Center yesterday and attended by hundreds of fans and close family and friends to the Bryant family. Numerous celebrities such as LeBron James, Kanye West, Jennifer Lopez, and Beyonce arrived to pay homage to the beloved star.
This was the first public appearance and speech given by his wife of nearly 20 years, Vanessa Bryant, as she tearfully and courageously gave the public a glimpse into her loving family. Teary celebrity guests could be seen as Bryant stated, “God knew they couldn’t be on this earth without each other.” Michael Jordan immediately helped Bryant down the stairs after her emotional speech. Attendees could easily see the strength he was trying to give her.
Beyoncé dedicated a special performance of her songs “XO” and “Halo” to the late NBA champ. Before she began “XO” she disclosed that Kobe was dear to her heart and that this was one of his favorite songs. As she ended her tributes with her yellow and gold nails designed with the names of “Gigi” and “Kobe,” she blew a kiss to the sky. She was later seen hugging Vanessa Bryant from behind and trying to console her through the rest of the ceremony.
Celebrities and Kobe’s wife and children were forbidden to be photographed during the memorial, fans were able to tune in through a live stream on Sportscenter and other news platforms. I believe this was definitely an understandable decision, given that his family is going through an unimaginable time of grief. Not everything deserves to be photographed, ridiculed, or judged.
Fans could be seen chanting outside the Staples center when his memorial ended screaming the name “Kobe” and wearing his number 8 and number 24 jerseys. Although Kobe and Gianna are gone too soon, their legacies in Los Angeles and across the globe will remain felt forever.
By Kori Barnes, Sophomore , UNLV