The lingering question of whether or not LeBron James attended Kobe Bryant's celebration of life public memorial on Monday is becoming a point of frustration for some fans. With some 20,000 people crowded into the Staples Center for the service, eyes were peeled for James, who remained evasive regarding his attendance when hounded by the media, prompting many fans to speak out on social media.
"Why are y'all so pressed about knowing if LeBron attended the memorial or not?" asked one fan. "I don't understand. People grieve differently. I personally don't like funerals/memorial/wake services."
"Why does it matter if he did or didn't?" asked another.
"Wait... so... A month ago... people were mad 'LeBron made Kobe's death about himself...'" tweeted somebody else. "And now they're mad he didn't announce his presence at the memorial? This don't get exhausting to yal?"
"Why do we care?" asked a fourth. "Some people aren't comfortable at funerals/memorials. It doesn't mean he cares any less."
The social media backlash came after James on Tuesday sidestepped answering questions about his possible attendance.
"I respect your question for sure, but it's very emotional," James said when asked if he was in the crowd, according to USA Today. "A very emotional day. A very tough day for myself, for my family, for everyone involved."
Although it remains unknown if James did in fact join the crowds of mourners, he did at least tune into the memorial, as he went on to praise Bryant's wife, Vanessa Bryant, for the emotional speech she gave at the service.
"One thing I can come out of it saying is how strong and how bold and how powerful Vanessa is," James said. "To stand up there the way she did, to give that speech the way she gave that speech. I commend her."
"My heart is with their family still. With his three daughters that are still here," he added. "With his wife. With his mom and dad and his sisters. It was just a very difficult day. Obviously, it was a celebration but it was a difficult day for all of us."
"It's never going to be a closure," he added. "We continue to live on his legacy and continue to have our hearts heavy with both sadness and with happiness for his family that are still here. So, it's not a closure. But it was a celebration which was well received from not only the Laker faithful, not only the family here, but everybody around the world."