Staples Center Packed for Kobe, Gianna Bryant Celebration of Life Tribute

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and the seven others who tragically perished recently were remembered during a two-hour celebration of life service that brought 20,000 ticket holders to The Staples Center to bid their hero a final farewell.

The service began with Beyonce Knowles-Carter singing Kobe's favorite song, XO and transitioned into Halo. A very emotional Jimmy Kimmel also spoke on his memories of Kobe, his voice shaking as he remembered. As he explained, he was asked to be the guide for the day, a task that he was honored and humbled to undertake.


Kobe Bryant, Daughter, Seven Others Die in Helicopter Crash


The program followed with guest speakers including Kimmel, WNBA superstar and four-time Olympic Gold medalist Diana Taurasi, and Sabrina Ionescu of Oregon who shared stories of Gianna, her skill and expectations of her future as a basketball legend and of Kobe who elevated women's sports by being a mentor, friend and girl dad.

Michael Jordan, Shaquille O'Neal, Rob Pelinka, Kobe Bryant's longtime agent and now Los Angeles Lakers vice present of basketball operations and general manager, and Coach Geno Auriemma of the UCONN Huskies also spoke. Performances in addition to Beyonce, included Alisha Keys, who performed Beethoven Moonlight Sonata and Christina Aguilera who performed Ava Marie in Italian.

Vanessa Bryant, who has essentially been in seclusion since the January 26, 2020 tragedy, spoke to the audience. For one moment she allowed the world of fans to share the affections, familiarities, and tender moments she shared with both her husband Kobe, and her daughter, Gigi. She showed a resolute strength as she expressed her grief in a collage of moments past and futures that will never be realized.


Beltway Insider: Trump/Impeachment, Coronavirus, Kobe Bryant, Brexit, Election: Gabbard, Clinton, Iowa


There were clear moments that one could see a divine guidance as told by Rob Pelinka, as he explained the two spoke or texted everyday over the last twenty years. On Sunday, at about 9:15AM, Kobe sent him a text asking about a baseball sports agent, and as name explained the story, "an otherworldly nudging cause me to check my phone (in church!) and the two texted over the next 15minutes until the last text he received was of working out a plan for the youngest and now only surviving member of the Altobelli family, Lexi, to move forward with her dreams. "Kobe up until the last seconds of his life was working to move the dreams of another forward."

On the court Kobe was remembered by Michael Jordan and Shaquille O'Neal, who each told stories of an annoying younger upstart, who became a teammate, a brother, a friend. Neither of these two basketball legends hide their feelings.

Jordan, who had tears streaming down his face joked, as he "revealed that he and Kobe Bryant were closer friends than anyone realized. "Everyone wanted to talk about the comparisons between him and I," Jordan said. "I just wanted to talk about Kobe,"' reported the New York Times.

Bryant's twenty years with The Los Angeles Lakers, his legendary performances, were captured by Shaquille O'Neal, who won three NBA Championship titles, part of the three-peat dynasty, who said, "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," The New York Times reported.


Beltway Insider: Obama, Allies Meet; Syria/Refugees/Counterterror; Election; Rings of Fire; Invictus; Kobe Bryant


Bryant, who went pro right out of high school, became one of the all-time greatest players in the sport. Selected 18 times, over his twenty years with the Lakers, for the All-Star Games, selected 15 times as a member of the All-NBA team, winner of two Olympic Gold Medals, a 12 time member of the All-Defensive league, he was part of five NBA Championships.

In his retirement game, he scored 60 points, and walked away from the game. He scored a career and game high of 81 points January 22, 2006 against the Toronto Raptors. His second act, which had already produced an Academy Award, was largely recognized as one that would become equal to or greater than the first which would be hard to surpass.

The program also included the Oscar winning short film, Dear Basketball, which provided one more glimpse into a boy mesmerized with the idea of basketball greatness, who grew into one of the highest scorers in the NBA, who loved the game, who gave everything and someone who as Michael Jordan said, "Left nothing on the court."

Dear Basketball, was the introduction to Kobe's second act and set the standard for himself wining the highest award the entertainment industry offers.


Beltway Insider: Trump/Pardons, Russia, Weinstein, Coronavirus, Quaden Bayles, Election 2020


The Celebration of Life tribute was an A-List event attended so many who would sit courtside, by recognizable screen and film stars and recording artists, those who were preparing for the Grammy when the news came in, by basketball legends, superstars, team owners and teammates, and the fans the many who needed one more moment to remember the two decades of Black Mamba, jump shots, three pointers, of high scores, of 81 points. He brought leaders, and those for whom underwhelmed is an art form, to their feet.

The legacy of Kobe Bryant, the outpouring of grief, the tributes from around the world attest to a life well lived.

Also remembered during the service were the others who died January 26, 2020, baseball coach John Altobelli, 56 and his wife Keri, 41, and his daughter, Alyssa, 13, perished. They leave two children orphaned, a younger daughter, Lexi, 16, and an older son, J.J.

Christina Mauser, 38, was the assistant coach for the Mamba Academy basketball team, she leaves a husband and three children. Payton Chester, 13, and her mother, Sarah, also died. Ara Zobayan, the personal pilot for Kobe, also died.

Haute Tease

  • Manhattan District Attorney Plans Second Etan Patz Trial

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance announced today he would seek a second trial in the Etan Patz child murder case that ended in a mistrial as the jury remained deadlocked after 18 days of deliberations.

     
  • I Am Paul Walker Review – Honest, Heartfelt, Genuine

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    I Am Paul Walker, from Virgil Films, Network Entertainment and Paramount Network, presents a behind the scenes documentary that captivates with never before seen footage and interviews with family, friends, co-stars and colleagues, building an endearing and lasting respect.

     
  • Maryland High School Football Gang Rape Shocks Prosecutors

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Four Junior Varsity football players were arraigned as adults and charged with multiple counts of sexual battery, rape and violence following what prosecutors are calling an "astonishingly cruel" locker room gang rape at Damascus High School.

     
  • Justice Watch: Prosecutor to Seek Death Penalty in Toddler Torture Murder

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Scott McMillan, the toddler murdered by his mother and her lover of one month, was buried one week ago in a tiny casket supplied by a local mortuary in a graveside service attended by his remaining family members, aunts, uncles, grandmother.  

     
  • DISNEY TO ACQUIRE LUCASFILM LTD.

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Burbank, CA and San Francisco, CA, October 30, 2012 - Continuing its strategy of delivering exceptional creative content to audiences around the world, The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) has agreed to acquire Lucasfilm Ltd. in a stock and cash transaction. Lucasfilm is 100% owned by Lucasfilm Chairman and Founder, George Lucas.

     
  • The Fifth Letter Review - Page Turning Legal Thriller

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Fifth Letter, a novel by research scholar Dr. Vivian Carpenter, introduces Katherine Helena Ross, the first black female Supreme Court justice caught between her conscience and political expedience when forced to consider the most important question facing the U.S. Supreme Court today: Who is a person with inalienable rights?  

  • 1965 Ferrari 275 GTB Alloy, Among 70 Collector Cars And Sports & Racing Rarities Joining RM Sotheby’s 2018 Paris Sale

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    RM Sotheby’s 2018 European auction calendar begins in Paris with an auction offering that features stunning sports, racing, and performance lots, including a 1965 Ferrari 275 GTB Alloy, a one-of-five 2-litre 1954 OSCA 2000 S and a rare Porsche 911 ‘993’ Turbo Cabriolet.

     
  • Strasbourg Christmas Market Terror Incident Leaves Three Dead, 12 Wounded

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The terrorist attack in Strasbourg (eastern France) is believed to be the work of a radicalized offender. Three people died as a result of this attack, twelve others wounded. The Vigipirate plan was raised at the emergency level.

     
  • STK LA Review - A Must Do-or-Dine Destination

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    When it comes to steakhouses, Los Angeles is a carnivore's cornucopia and one, STK in the W Los Angeles in West Beverly Hills, thanks to an well-conceived, expertly executed menu, chic atmosphere, and attentive staff, becomes a dining event.

     
  • TED 2 Review – A Raucous, Raunchy, Bromance Ride

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    TED 2, from Universal Pictures, presents an edgy, frat house, party bus weekend, trip as they travel the extremes of acceptability skating the point of no return with sophomoric jokes and counter culture references.

     
  • DIY Relaxation: 18 Ways to De-Stress

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Stress is often seen as a negative effect on the body, but it is very essential to life. It is the "fight or flight" system that is naturally part of our survival system. Stress is bad when it overwhelmingly impacts our health equilibrium. Everyone deals with stress, in one way or another.

     
  • Two NYPD Police Officers Executed in Gangland Style Ambush

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Two NYPD Police Officers, in a gangland style hit, were shot at point blank range while sitting in a marked police cruiser outside the Tompkins Housing Project in Brooklyn at around 3:00pm Saturday.

     
  • HL Tech: Hot Fun In The Summertime - Ten Best Portable Bluetooth Speakers

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    From camping trips to backyard cookouts, summer brings friends and families together — in many cases, it brings them together outdoors. A new generation of wireless speakers can bring summer pool parties or family vacations to life, no matter where the fun takes place.  

  • Oregon School Shooting Brings Total to 74 Since Sandy Hook Massacre

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Freshman Emilio Hoffman was shot and killed when a lone gunman entered Reynolds High School in Troutdale, Oregon, yesterday, and opened fire killing the 14 year old before turning the gun on himself.

     
  • Aaron Hernandez, Former New England Patriot, Commits Suicide

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Aaron Hernandez, 27, the former New England Patriots Football player, was found dead in his prison cell from an apparent suicide where he was serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for a 2013 murder.