The Kobe and Gigi Memorial


jaye mcpherson

On February 24, 2020, Staples Center in Los Angeles held a memorial for the late Kobe Bryant. Kobe Bryant along with his daughter and seven others passed on January 26, 2020 in a helicopter crash. Many people shared bittersweet memories of Kobe, but speeches that caught people’s eyes were the speeches of former teammate Shaquille O’neal and former NBA player Michael Jordan, who spoke of heart wrenching memories that they shared with the late player. Michael Jordan described Kobe Bryant’s character and the qualities that made him such a great person, and Shaquille O’neal shared special moments during the time they played together, to the moment where he gained respect for Kobe.

The words that grabbed the audiences heart strings were those from Kobe’s wife, Vanessa Bryant. Vanessa started off by sharing things about her daughter Gianna Bryant. She described “Gigi” as a girl who “lit up the room when she walked in, bright, and wanting to put a smile on everyone’s face”. Furthermore, she then talked about her aspiring career as a professional basketball player, and how dedicated she was. She also talked about “Gigi” and Kobe’s relationship, describing them as inseparable. She made the world choke up when she said the words “God knew to take Gigi and Kobe both together because they couldn’t live without each other”. Vanessa then finished her speech talking about her late husband, describing Kobe’s smile and attitude as “contagious” and speaking about how much of an amazing father he was to their four children.

After the event, many fans gathered outside of the Staples Center, and shouted Kobe themed chants. Fans took this time to come together and honor the late player with a candle vigil. Kobe held a special place in many people’s hearts, and his death will not be soon forgotten.