LeBron James reportedly attended the Kobe Bryant and Gianna Bryant Celebration of Life memorial at the Staples Center on Monday. However, since James did not speak and there are no photos showing him there, fans were wondering where he was. James already gave an emotional speech about Bryant at the Los Angeles Lakers' first game at the Staples Center after Bryant's death.
According to LA times he was there.. weird that there’s no photos or anything. pic.twitter.com/KiKEqoDnrU— easyEG (@EasyEG702) February 24, 2020
Other active NBA players who attended included Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, James Harden, Russell Westbrook and many others. NBA Hall of Famers Bill Russell, Michael Jordan, Shaquille O'Neal, Phil Jackson, Elgin Baylor, Magic Johnson, Jerry West and Kareem Abdul-Jabar were there, as were retired NBA stars Dwyane Wade, Pau Gasol and Steve Nash. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver also attended.
During the ceremony, Jordan and O'Neal gave tearful tributes to Bryant, as did Lakers GM Rob Pelinka and Bryant's widow, Vanessa Bryant.
"I'm grateful to Vanessa and the Bryant family for the opportunity to speak today," Jordan said in his speech through tears. "I'm grateful to be here to honor Gigi and celebrate the gift that Kobe gave us all."
Not if he asks politely to not be filmed so you know Kobe could be respected— CelticsGOAT (@Celtics_Goat) February 24, 2020
"In the game of basketball, in life, as a parent, Kobe left nothing in the tank," the Chicago Bulls legend said. "He left it all on the floor. Maybe it surprised people that Kobe and I were very close friends, but we were very close friends. Kobe was my dear friend. He was like a little brother. Everyone always wanted to talk about the comparisons between he and I. I just wanted to talk about Kobe."
Before the memorial began, James tweeted "2/24," the date of the memorial. The date was chosen because 2 is the number Bryant's daughter Gianna wore and 24 was the number Bryant wore.
Back on Jan. 31, James delivered his own heartfelt, off-the-cuff speech at the Staples Center before tip-off against the Portland Trail Blazers. It was the Lakers' first game since Bryant, Gianna and seven others died in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26.
He should have at least show his face he had no problem saying that dunk was for Kobe— carlos gomez (@DomenicoScotto6) February 24, 2020
"Kobe is a brother to me," James said. "From the time I was in high school watching him from afar, to getting in this league at 18 and watching him up close, all the battles that we had throughout my career, the one thing that we always shared was that determination to just want to win, to just want to be great. The fact that I'm here now means so much to me. I want to continue, along with my teammates, his legacy. Not only for this year, but for as long as we can play this game of basketball that we love, because that's what Kobe Bryant would want."
Photo credit: Harry How/Getty Images