Vanessa Bryant took the podium to speak about her late husband, Kobe Bryant, and daughter, Gianna Bryant, during the Celebration of Life for Kobe and Gianna Bryant. The ceremony took place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
During the program, Vanessa provided viewers with a glimpse of the man her husband was on a personal level, sharing emotional retellings and adding further context to the cherished father he was and was becoming even more so. One of the stories she shared was how Kobe would surprise her with a heartfelt gift each anniversary, and one in particular that really stole her heart.
One of his gestures saw Kobe give his wife the actual book from The Notebook and the dress that Amy McAdams wore during the movie.
“When I asked him why he chose the blue dress [from the movie], he said it was because it’s the scene when Allie comes back to Noah,” she explained. “We had hoped to grow old together like [they did in] the movie. We really had an amazing love story.”
She added that he was the "romantic one in our relationship." He was the one who would plan their anniversary trips each year.
“We loved each other with our whole beings, two perfectly imperfect people making a beautiful family and raising our sweet and amazing girls," she said.
In addition to Vanessa's emotional message, many others who were connected with the former Los Angeles Lakers star shared personal moments they experienced with the Philadelphia native.
One of whom was Michael Jordan, who joked about how another crying meme of him would follow as he broke down into tears during his speech.
"Now, he's got me... I'll have to look at another crying meme for the next..." he said, which prompted laughs and applause from the entire crowd at the Staples Center. "I told my wife I wasn't going to do this 'cause I didn't want to see that for the next three or four years. This is what Kobe Bryant does to you."
Jordan went on to share the deep bond the two basketball legends had, explaining a piece of himself died when the world lost Bryant.
"From this day forward, I will live with the memories of knowing that I had a little brother that I tried to help in every way I could," Jordan said at the end of his message. "Please rest in peace, little brother."