LOS ANGELES — “This morning was beautiful, it really was. It was emotional… You know what was interesting, if you looked around at all those people, it just brought people together.”
Doc Rivers, who coaches another team in a city he accurately described “brokenhearted,” summed up the feeling around Kobe Bryant’s Celebration of Life on Monday at Staples Center perfectly. It was a celebration for a basketball world — and a city in Los Angeles — that needed it.
It was filled with moments we will not forget.
Everything started with a soulful song from Beyoncé.
Beyoncé opens Kobe & Gianna's Celebration of Life with one of his favorite songs.
— NBA TV (@NBATV) February 24, 2020
“I don’t know how Vanessa did it. I didn’t know that was possible,” Rivers said, encapsulating the feelings of everyone who watched Vanessa Bryant eulogize her husband and daughter with grace and beauty. It set the emotional tone for the day and was perfect.
Michael Jordan — the man that helped fuel Kobe and became his friend — spoke from his heart. He also had the funniest line of the day.
It it wasn’t MJ, it was Diana Taurasi who cracked up the crowd.
The same passion we all recognized in Kobe, obviously, Gigi inherited. Her skill was undeniable at an early age. I mean, who has a turn-away fade-away jumper at 11?
LeBron barely got it today.
When the event ended, former players and coaches hung out in Staples Center for more than an hour, just talking and reminiscing. Outside Staples, thousands of fans did the same thing.
Kobe Bryant touched so many lives in positive ways. That, more than anything, is his true legacy. And what was celebrated on Monday.