Kobe Bryant’s Memorial

Courtesy+of+yourcentralvalley.com

Courtesy of yourcentralvalley.com

Edgar (Alex) Hernandez, Staff Writer

Nearly a month has passed since one of the most important NBA icons, Kobe Bryant, passed away along with his daughter Gianna and 7 others. On February 24, 2020 a public memorial for the long living legend was hosted in his hometown at the Staples Center, where he played Basketball most. Many celebrities, close friends, and fans attended this important memorial.
Kobe’s memorial included performances from Beyonce, one of Kobe’s favorite artist, who sang on of her biggest hits “XO” backed by a choir and violinists clad in all-white. She said it was one of Kobe’s favorite songs. Along with Alicia Keys, funny heartfelt moments from Michael Jordan and Shaquille O’Neal were shared.

Jordan delivered the one-liner of the day, saying: “I’m going to have to look at another crying meme.”
On that day his wife, who had been married to him for 20 years, had spoken since the day of her husband’s death. “God knew they couldn’t be on this earth without each other,” she said.

Kobe Bryant’s wife, Vanessa Laine Bryant, has suggested that the date for the gathering, Feb. 24, has particular significance with the numbers of the date: 2-24-20. Gianna Bryant wore No. 2 on her basketball jersey, while her father turned No. 24 into a symbol of Lakers glory. The number 20, as Vanessa Bryant noted in an Instagram post this month, was also significant: She and Kobe Bryant were a couple for 20 years, just as he was a member of the Lakers for 20 seasons.

Shaquille O’Neal played with Kobe on the Los Angeles Lakers from 1996 to 2004. They both made an NBA Finals appearance in 2004. “Kobe and I have pushed one another to play some of the greatest basketball of all time and I am proud that no other team has accomplished the three-peat the Lakers have done since Shaq-and-the-Kobe Lakers did it,” O’Neal said to cheers from the Staples Center crowd. “And yes, sometimes, like immature kids, we argued. We fought, bantered or insulted each other with off-handed remarks. Our feud. But make no mistake, folks thought we were on bad terms, when the cameras were turned off, he and I would throw a wink at each other.”
O’Neal also told a story about how, after being told there is no “I” in the word “team,” Bryant responded with the fact that there is the word “me.” But an emotional O’Neal did get earnest and vowed to help Bryant’s children learn their father’s basketball moves — just not O’Neal’s free throw motion.

“Mamba, you were taken away from us too soon,” O’Neal said. “Your next chapter of life was just beginning. But now it is time for us to continue your legacy. You said yourself that everything negative — pressure, challenges — is all an opportunity for me to rise. So we now take that sage advice to now rise from anguish and begin with the healing. Just know that we have got your back, little brother. I’ll look after things down here. I’ll be sure to teach Natalia, Bianca, and baby Capri all your moves. And I promise I will not teach them my free throw techniques.”