While Fellow Athletes Like Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal And Current Lakers General Manager Rob Pelinka Take The Stage At The Memorial, Kobe’s Parents Are Noticeably Not Among The Speakers.
A memorial service for Kobe Bryant was held on Monday, February 24 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Many people, including family and friends, gathered to pay tribute to the fallen NBA star with Kobe’s wife Vanessa Bryant and close friends taking the stage to deliver speeches. However, Kobe’s parents were noticeably not among the speakers.
While fellow athletes like Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal and current Lakers general manager and Kobe’s former agent Rob Pelinka took turn to take the stage at the memorial, Kobe’s parents Joe and Pamela Bryant were seated in their seats throughout the memorial. That led to people accusing Vanessa of disrespecting the late athlete’s parents since Kobe wasn’t just a basketball legend but also their son.
Additionally, people were upset to find out that Joe and Pamela sat in the second row of the audience. It was off to the side, away from Vanessa and her daughters. Further making things worse, Kobe’s sisters also didn’t speak at the memorial service.
Despite that, the memorial service went well as the attendees were treated to musical performances from the likes of Beyonce Knowles, Alicia Keys and Christina Aguilera.
During the memorial service, Vanessa tearfully honored her late husband and daughter Gianna, who was also among the victims of the deadly helicopter crash last month. “First, I’d like to thank everyone for coming today. The outpouring of love and support that my family has felt has been so up lifting. thank you for your prayers,” Vanessa began her speech. “I’d like to talk about both Kobe and Gigi. I’ll start with my baby girl first.”
“She was an amazingly sweet, gentle soul. She was always thoughtful and always kissed me goodnight and good morning… She was daddy’s girl, but I know she loved her momma,” Vanessa continued. “She was one of my very best friends. She loved putting a smile on everyone’s face… Last August she made a beautiful cake for her daddy’s birthday.”
Later, she spoke about Kobe, dubbing him “a fierce competitor on the basketball court… and the Black Mamba,” before adding, “But to me, he was ‘Kob Kob,’ my ‘boo boo… I was his ‘queen Mamba’. He was my sweet husband. Kobe and I had been together since I was 17-years-old… he was the most amazing husband. Kobe loved me more than I could put into words… I was fire and he was ice… we balanced each other out… He was truly the romantic one in our relationship.”
Kobe and his 13-year-old daughter were laid to rest earlier this month in a private burial in California. The seven others killed in the helicopter crash are John Altobelli, the head baseball coach at Orange Coast College, his wife Keri Altobelli and their daughter Alyssa Altobelli, Christina Mauser, an assistant basketball coach at Kobe’s Mamba Sports Academy, Payton Chester, who played on the team, her mother Sarah Chester as well as pilot Ara Zobayan.