Shaquille O’Neal, Magic Johnson and More Lakers Legends Remember Kobe Bryant at Public Memorial

Shaquille O’Neal, Magic Johnson and More Lakers Legends Remember Kobe Bryant at Public Memorial

Shaquille O'Neal, Celebration of Life, Kobe Bryant, Gianna Bryant, Celebrities, Lakers

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Fans paid tribute to Kobe Bryant and Gianna Bryant with a celebration of life service on Monday. 

Attendees arrived at the Los Angeles Staples Center—often called “the house that Kobe built”—in their Lakers team attire and were given booklets featuring photos of the Bryant family. 

The date of the public memorial—2/24/20—held significance for the Bryant family. Two and 24 represented the numbers that appeared on Gianna’s and Kobe’s basketball jerseys, respectively. In addition, the number 20 represented both the number of years Kobe played for the Los Angeles Lakers and the number of years he was with his wife Vanessa Bryant.

Many celebrities—including Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Jennifer Lopez, Alex Rodriguez, Gabrielle UnionAlicia Keys, Jimmy Kimmel, Christina Aguilera, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West—attended the service. Several athletes—including Michael Jordan, Dwyane WadeStephen Curry and Michael Phelps—did, as well. Many current and former Lakers players attended the celebration of life, too. Shaquille O’Neal, Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar were all there. Anthony Davis, Phil Jackson and Kyle Kuzma attended, as well.

At one point, Shaq looked back at his friendship with Kobe in a touching speech.

“Kobe was a loyal friend and a true renaissance man. As many of you know, Kobe and I had a very complex relationship throughout the years,” he said at one point, later adding. “Kobe and I pushed one another to play some of the best basketball of all time.”

He even spurred a few laughs after he recalled a time he told Kobe to pass the ball.

“I said ‘Kobe, there’s no ‘I’ in team,’ and Kobe said ‘I know, but there’s a ‘me’ in that motherf–ker,'” Shaquille said.

He also referred to Kobe as “Heaven’s MVP.”

Kobe and Gianna died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif. in January. They were 41 years old and 13 years old, respectively.

Seven others were also killed in the tragic accident: John Altobelli, a baseball coach at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, Calif.; his wife, Keri Altobelli; their daughter, Alyssa AltobelliChristina Mauser, an assistant basketball coach at Kobe’s Mamba Sports Academy; Payton Chester, who played on the team; her mother, Sarah Chester; and Ara Zobayan, the helicopter pilot.

Magic Johnson, Lamar Odom, Celebration of Life, Kobe Bryant, Gianna Bryant, Celebrities, Lakers

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

All of the proceeds from the celebration of life ticket sales were donated to the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation, which “exists to further Kobe and Gianna Bryant’s legacy through charitable endeavors in sports.”

To get more information or to donate, please click here.

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