Lakers Reporter: Kobe Memorial "Took My Breath Away"

Vanessa Bryant honored her late husband and daughter at a memorial service at Staples Center on Monday

After Hours With Amy Lawrence
February 25, 2020 - 9:14 am
Vanessa Bryant Kobe Bryant

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Kobe and Gianna Bryant were honored at the Staples Center on Monday, with Jimmy Kimmel hosting the event and several others, including Vanessa Bryant, addressing the crowd. 

Vanessa spoke of Kobe and Gianna as father and daughter, saying, “God knew they couldn't be on this earth without each other. He had to bring them home to have them together.”

It was a touching tribute.

“I kind of couldn’t believe it when you think about what she’s been through, how hard that must have been, kind of letting people in,” Southern California News Group Lakers reporter Kyle Goon said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “That kind of took my breath away. . . . All the plans they had for when they would be able to travel together and how she really regretted they wouldn’t be able to do so many things as a family, it was completely heartbreaking. It gives you sort of a picture into just how much this family has been hurt by this tragedy and sort of the depth of what she and her kids must be feeling right now.”

The event featured numerous speakers, including Michael Jordan, who broke down at the podium, and Rob Pelinka, who received texts from Kobe from the helicopter.

“I had not heard that story before,” Goon said. “Rob was talking about his own children and how much they missed Kobe because they went to the same school as Gianna, and every time he saw them, he would pick them up and lift them over his head. When somebody of that stature dies, there’s sort of this mythical, legendary quality that’s sealed away, right? But what I think we got from Rob today was sort of this grounding sense of Kobe was a dad. Kobe was a friend. Kobe was a husband – a husband who bought Rachel McAdams’ dress from the movie The Notebook – but nonetheless, a very human person. 

“That’s come out to a degree,” Goon continued, “but obviously since this happened, we just haven’t heard from Vanessa like this. We certainly haven’t heard from Rob like this. Michael Jordan almost never talks. And to a stunning degree, the vulnerability he showed today, I’m not sure he’s ever shown that publicly in his entire life. So I think it was a tremendous gesture to the memory of Kobe, not sort of this mythical figure, but this three-dimensional, grounded person.”