On Monday, February 24, the lives of Kobe and Gianna Bryant were honoured in a public memorial service from the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
The date - 2/24 - was chosen to represent the respective jersey numbers of Gianna and Kobe, who were among nine victims of a helicopter crash on January 26, 2020.
The memorial program, titled "A Celebration of Life," saw fans pour in by the thousands to pay their respects alongside Bryant's family, friends and former teammates. Among former players in attendance were Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Magic Johnson, Steve Nash, Tony Parker and Dwyane Wade.
In addition to the entire Los Angeles Lakers team, current NBA players in attendance included Devin Booker, Stephen Curry, DeMar DeRozan, Draymond Green, James Harden, Jayson Tatum, Kemba Walker and Russell Westbrook.
Following an opening performance from Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, late-night television host Jimmy Kimmel took to the stage to preside over the program and introduce Vanessa Bryant, who would be the first to speak on the lives of her daughter and husband.
"Gigi would have easily become the best player in the WNBA."- NBA TV (@NBATV) February 24, 2020
Vanessa Bryant remembers her daughter, Gianna. pic.twitter.com/9tv3w8wL6a
"He was my everything."- NBA TV (@NBATV) February 24, 2020
Vanessa Bryant remembers Kobe at the Celebration of Life. pic.twitter.com/vHb9xP0qmm
Los Angeles Lakers General Manager Rob Pelinka, Kobe's former agent and Gianna's godfather, would talk about who Kobe was as a friend, a father and a husband.
"Kobe lived to make other people's lives better."- NBA TV (@NBATV) February 24, 2020
Rob Pelinka remembers his friend, Kobe Bryant. pic.twitter.com/URIc9s8l3p
"He just loved his girls and there was nothing in the world that meant more to him."- NBA TV (@NBATV) February 24, 2020
Rob Pelinka on Kobe as a father. pic.twitter.com/rLsdp5zLvE
Hall of Famer Michael Jordan spoke on Kobe, someone that he came to know as a little brother over the years.
"As I got to know him, I wanted to be the best big brother that I could be."- NBA TV (@NBATV) February 24, 2020
Michael Jordan on Kobe Bryant. pic.twitter.com/dTSp7VDosP
The final person to speak was Bryant's former teammate, Shaquille O'Neal.
"Now it's time for us to continue your legacy."- NBA TV (@NBATV) February 24, 2020
Shaq on Kobe's impact. pic.twitter.com/Zw2n3b1aMB