Skip Bayless had some powerful words about Vanessa Bryant's speech honoring her late husband Kobe Bryant and their 13-year-old daughter Gianna during Monday's celebration of life, which came nearly a month after the father-daughter pair were two of nine victims killed in a helicopter crash outside of Los Angeles. During Tuesday's episode of Undisputed, Bayless was clearly emotional talking about Vanessa's tribute, calling her "Kobe-esque" in her delivery under pressure.
"My biggest takeaway was that Vanessa Bryant was the biggest star at [Staples Center] yesterday," the analyst said, "and that was the greatest collection of stars and ex-stars ever in the history of the game we love — basketball."
"Vanessa just transcended, she rose above, she owned Staples the way her husband often owned it for NBA Finals games," he continued. "She was Kobe-esque yesterday."
Bayless added he was "pretty stunned" she spoke at all, giving her credit for delivering amid the incredible tragedy and stress her family has been under, "the speech of speeches, the tribute of tributes."
In fact, Bayless said that despite Vanessa's typically private persona, he was given a "powerful little glimpse into why Kobe Bryant chose her to be the mother of his children. ... that's what he saw from the start."
Vanessa's speech at Monday's service was filled with heart warming memories of both her daughter and her husband, as well as the impact they both had on those around them.
"I couldn't see him as a celebrity nor just an incredible basketball player. He was my sweet husband and the beautiful father of my children. He was mine. He was my everything," she said, in part.
She continued, "He was thoughtful and always wrote the best love letters and cards, and Gigi had his wonderful ability to express her feelings into paper and make you feel her love through his words. She was thoughtful like him. They were so easy to love. Everybody naturally gravitated towards them. They were funny, happy, silly, and they loved life. They were so full of joy and adventure."0comments
"God knew they couldn't be on this Earth without each other," she concluded. "He had to bring them home to have them together. Babe, you take care of our Gigi. I got Nati, Bibi and Koko, and we're still the best team."
Photo credit: Getty / Kevork Djansezian