Several basketball players and greats, both past and present, as well as other celebrities and stakeholders joined the family of Kobe and Gigi Bryant for their emotional and solemn memorial at the Staples Center on Monday.
A sold-out memorial, one notable person that fans at the venue as well as the thousands of viewers who watched couldn’t see in attendance was Lebron James. His supposed absence at the memorial, despite all his Los Angeles Lakers teammates reportedly attending, got people talking and wondering where he was.
Addressing his supposed absence during practice on Tuesday, the NBA champion neither confirmed nor denied whether he was in attendance when he was questioned by a reporter.
“Like I said, man, it’s just … I respect your question, for sure,” he said. “It was very emotional, very emotional day, very tough day for myself, for my family, for everyone involved.
“The one thing I can come out of this saying is how strong and how bold and how powerful Vanessa [Bryant] is to stand up there the way she did, to give the speech the way she gave that speech. I commend her. My heart is with her family still, with his three daughters that’s still here, with his wife, with his mom and dad, his sister. It was just a very difficult day. Obviously celebration, but it was a difficult day for all of us. I’d appreciate it if we can move on tonight. That would be great.”
Asked if everything at the Lakers could return to normal after the January 26 helicopter crash that claimed the lives of Kobe, his 13-year-old daughter as well as seven others, Lebron said he doesn’t think so.
“It’s never a closure. It’s never going to be a closure,” he said. “I mean, we continue to live on his legacy and continue to have our hearts heavy with both sadness and with happiness for his family that are still here. So, it’s not a closure. But it was a celebration, which was well received from not only the Laker faithful, not only the family here, but everybody around the world.”