Kobe Bryant has been dead for almost exactly a month. With his death came some of the greatest gatherings of celebrities the world has ever seen, the largest of which took place three days ago at the Staples Center, where fans, celebrities, basketball players, rappers, and even a former president gathered to honor the legend named Kobe Bryant.
The memorial began and ended with tears. Vanessa Bryant, speaking publicly for the first time since her husband’s death, cried her way through a small speech, saying:
“I want my daughters to know and remember the amazing person, husband, and father he [Kobe] was. God knew they [Kobe and Gianna] couldn’t be on this earth without each other. He had to bring them home to have them together… May you both rest in peace and have fun in Heaven until we both meet again one day. We love you both, and miss you, forever and always.”Vanessa Bryant
She was then helped off the stage by Michael Jordan, who spoke next.
“Kobe was my dear friend; he was like a brother. Everyone always wanted to talk about the comparisons between he and I. I just wanted to talk about Kobe. You know, all of us have brothers and sisters -little brothers and little sisters- who for some reason, always tend to get into your stuff, your closet, your shoes, everything. It was a nuisance, if I can say that word. But that nuisance turned into love, over a period of time. Just because of the admiration that they had for you, as big brothers and big sisters. The questions, every detail, about the life that they were about to embark on. He used to call me, text me, at 11:30, 2:30, 3:00 in the morning. Talking about post-up moves, footwork, and sometimes, the triangle. At first, it was an aggravation, but then it turned into a certain passion. This kid had passion like you would never know. And that’s the amazing thing about passion: If you love something, if you have a strong passion about something, you would go to the extreme to try to understand or try to get it… What Kobe Bryant was to me, was the inspiration that someone truly cared about either the way that I played the game or the way that he wanted to play the game. He wanted to be the best basketball player he could be. And as I got to know him, I wanted to be the best big brother that I could be.”Michael Jordan
Finally, the last major speaker stepped up to the stage, his 7’1 frame towering well above those around him. Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe’s greatest frenemy, then began to speak.
“As many of you know, Kobe and I had a very complex relationship throughout the years. But not unlike another leadership duo, John Lennon and Paul McCartney, who’s creative rivalry lead to some of the greatest music of all time. Kobe and I pushed each other to play some of the greatest basketball of all time, and I am proud that no other team has accomplished what the three-peat Lakers have done since Shaq and the Kobe Lakers did it.”Shaquille O’Neal
Now it’s my turn.
Kobe, since your death, a piece of me (and every other basketball fan) has been found missing. Now we realize that we will never again find a highlight of you breaking defender’s ankles, making absurd fadeaways or dunking over opponents six inches taller than you. Never again will we see a man with the competitive drive to go out and do something with his life, no matter the odds.
Now we regret taking for granted those highlights of you, never realizing that they would be something of the past, something that will never be expanded.
And yet we are grateful. Grateful for twenty years, longer than my own lifetime, of basketball. Twenty years watching the most passionate basketball player since Michael Jordan. Twenty years of a basketball legend. Rest in peace, Kobe Bryant, and I hope you’ve found Heaven’s basketball court.
Alright, that’s all for today. Thanks so much for reading! I hope you enjoyed this post. If you did, make sure to click that Follow button below (or to the side), so as to not miss out on any new posts. Thanks again, and I hope you have a fantastic day!
“Vanessa Bryant shares powerful, emotional words at Kobe and Gianna Bryant Memorial.” YouTube, uploaded by CBS Sports, 24th February 2020, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_Myud-0WjE
“Watch Michael Jordan’s Speech At Kobe Bryant’s Memorial Service.” YouTube, uploaded by MSNBC, 25th February 2020, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-tUlDHtr6lk.
Image credit to Rolling Stone
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