Watch CBSN Live

8 heartbreaking moments from Vanessa Bryant's tribute to Kobe and Gigi

Vanessa Bryant delivered emotional remarks about her late husband Kobe and daughter Gianna at the public memorial service honoring their lives at the Staples Center on Monday. As she announced earlier this month, the "Celebration of Life" was held on a special date: 2/24/20 — #2 for Gigi's jersey number, #24 for Kobe's jersey number, and 20 for the number of years the All-Star played in the NBA.

At the memorial, Vanessa Bryant spoke publicly for the first time since her husband and daughter died in a helicopter crash along with seven others on January 26. In front of a crowd of thousands of people, she opened up about the pain she has experienced after losing two of the loves of her life. 

Here are eight memorable moments from her speech:

1. Kisses from Gianna

"Gianna Bryant is an amazingly sweet and gentle soul. She was always thoughtful. She always kissed me goodnight and kissed me good morning," Vanessa Bryant said. 

Vanessa Bryant spoke about her daughter, Gigi, who was just 13 years old when she died in a helicopter crash alongside her dad, NBA star Kobe Bryant.

2. Watching Gigi grow up

"We will not be able to see Gianna go to high school with Natalia … we didn't get the chance to teach her how to drive a car," Vanessa said.

Vanessa Bryant became emotional during the memorial service at the Staples Center as she honored her daughter, Gigi, who died at the age of 13. 

3. Kobe the "girl dad"

"We had always talked about how we'd be the fun grandparents to our girls' children. He would've been the coolest grandpa," she said.

Kobe was father to Natalia, Bianka, Capri, and Gigi. He was a self-proclaimed "girl dad," who coached his daughter's basketball team. 

4. Kobe the romantic 

"He was truly the romantic one in our relationship, and looked forward to Valentine's Day and our anniversaries every year. He planed anniversary trips and a special traditional gift for every year of our marriage. He even handmade my most treasured gifts," Vanessa said, revealing one of the special gifts her husband gave her.

Vanessa Bryant said she and Kobe had been together since she was 17 and a half years old. She called him her "best friend."

5. "He was my sweet husband"

"Kobe was known as a fierce competitor on the basketball court. The greatest of all time. A writer. An Oscar winner. And the Black Mamba," Bryant said to cheers from the crowd. 

Vanessa Bryant called her husband of nearly 19 years her "soul mate."

6. Gigi the basketball player

"She was very maternal since she was really little. Gigi would have most likely become the best player in the WNBA," Vanessa Bryant said to applause. 

Kobe coached his daughter's team at his Mamba Academy. Proceeds from memorial service ticket sales will be donated to the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation.

7. Kobe and Gigi's secret talent

"She was competitive like her dad but Gianna had a sweet grace. Her smile was like sunshine," Vanessa said.

Vanessa Bryant recalled how much her daughter Gigi was like her husband, Kobe Bryant.

8. Kobe and Gigi together

Vanessa Bryant closed her speech talking about Kobe and Gigi together. "Babe, you take care of our Gigi," she said. 

Following Vanessa Bryant's speech at the Staples Center, other close friends, including Michael Jordan and Shaquille O'Neal, spoke about Kobe. Beyonce and Alicia Keys also performed.
View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome browser logo Chrome Safari browser logo Safari Continue