In an emotional tribute in front of 20, 000 friends and fans who gathered at the Staples Center, his wife, Vanessa Bryant said: “God knew they couldn’t be on this Earth without each other, he had to bring them home to have them together.”
Bryant, later described Gianna as “an amazingly sweet and gentle soul” who lit up every room she walked into. As she choked in tears, she spoke about how her daughter inherited her father’s fierce love and talent for basketball, and how she would never get to see Gianna become the trailblazer she was destined to be in the sports world.
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NBA legend, Michael Jordan who was in tears likened their relationship to that of siblings.
“Kobe was my dear friend, he was like a little brother,” Jordan said at the memorial service. “When Kobe died, a little piece of me died.”
He said that Bryant would reach out to him all the time and at all hours of the night to talk about post-up moves or footwork. Jordan said at first it was an aggravation, but he recognized the passion that Bryant had for the game of basketball, Times reported.
“This kid had passion like you would never know,” Jordan said. “As I got to know him, I wanted to be the best big brother that I could be.”
In the presence of fans and celebrity friends who thronged the Staples Center, Beyonce and singer Alicia Keys performed during the two-hour ceremony.
Check out all the touching moments from the event below: