Over 20,000 People Flood Staples Center To Pay Tribute To Kobe And Gigi Bryant At Public Memorial

Kobe and Gianna BryantPhoto Credit: Shutterstock

Today, February 24th, marks a special day of Memorium for the recently passed NBA legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna. The day chosen was purposeful—2.24—representing both Gigi’s basketball number (2) and Kobe’s, (24). The public memorial, held at Los Angeles Lakers’ Staples Center, has invited over 20,000 people including friends, family and others who acquired tickets through a lottery to remember the basketball legend, father, husband and businessman—fondly referred to as Mamba—and his daughter, Gigi, who died along with seven other victims in a helicopter crash in Calabassas on January 26, 2020.

All proceeds from the Memorial will benefit the Mamba & Mamacita Sports Foundation. Through the live airing, as well as Internet updates through social media, we’ve seen those remembering the lives of Kobe and Gigi and have watched dozens of friends, family and colleagues take the stage to give their tributes. Most notable was, of course, the emotional tribute from Vanessa Bryant—Kobe’s wife and Gigi’s mother—who showed her strength and love for the two with a moving speech that touched on the lives of the two and what they meant to her, others and most importantly, each other.

“She was daddy’s girl, but I know she loved her mama,” she fondly recalled, after reminiscing that Gigi used to give her a kiss every morning to show her how much she loved her. “She gave the best hugs and the best kisses….Gianna made us proud, and she still does.”

“They were funny, happy, silly and they loved life. They were so full of joy and adventure. God knew they couldn’t be on this Earth without each other. He had to bring them home to have them together. Babe, you take care of our Gigi. We love and miss you, booboo and Gigi,” she concluded.

Other tributes included words from Jimmy Kimmel, WNBA Star Diana Taurasi, Shaq as well as fellow players and industry leaders. Beyoncé opened up Kobe & Gianna’s Celebration of Life with one of his favorite songs, a rendition of “XO,” which moved the crowd. The audience was packed with celebrities including the Kardashian/West’s, Magic Johnson, Lamar Odom, Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union, Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez, Shaq, Steph and Ayesha Curry, James Harden, Russell Westbrook, P.J. Tucker, the Lakers team and thousands of others.

Outside the Staples Center, fans and admirers all paid homage to the Kobe and Gigi with Mamba-inspired getups, including Kobe and Gigi’s jerseys and shirts emblazoned with “Mamba Forever.” Inside the arena, 33,000 decorated the center stage, representing one rose for each point Kobe Bryant Scored in his career.

 

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