Kobe Bryant: Stephen A. Smith Talks 'Pain' in Father Joe Bryant's Eyes at Memorial Amid Questions About Relationship

Much has been made about the parents of Kobe Bryant and their lack of visibility during the memorial at the Staples Center on Monday. Joe Bryant nor Pam Bryant gave any speeches during the ceremony. They were seated in the same row as Vanessa Bryant during the event.

While social media has wondered why his parents did not participate in any of the eulogies, ESPN personality, Stephen A. Smith, put out support for the late Los Angeles Lakers' stars' parents.

"It is important to remember that he had a mother and a father and two sisters who lost their son and their brother." he shared. "No matter what went on, whatever tension existed, whatever the case may be, look at Joe Bryant's face when the cameras were on him yesterday. Look at the pain in that man's eyes... his son is gone."

While he did not speak during the memorial, Joe Bryant did appear on the Scoop B. Radio podcast. On it, he spoke about raising Kobe overseas before returning to Philadelphia, and how being raised on a basketball court helped to shape his young from a young age.

"As parents, we try to give our kids advice just to stay focused, work hard and those types of things that you been through… So that's the advantage," he said in reference to Kobe's worldly adventures as a child.

Smith continued to talk about the service, which saw approximately 20,000 attendees, and all of the powerful speeches that were delivered during First Take. He mentioned Vanessa Bryant's heartbreaking eulogy and Michael Jordan's emotional message in which he broke down on stage.

The longtime ESPN personality did point out Vanessa specifically and the strength she mustered on Monday.

"Nothing compares to the loss that she has suffered along with her children," Smith said. "She as his wonderful wife no longer has a husband nor her daughter, and the loss that she has suffered, it can't be measured. It's incredibly heart-wrenching. I don't know how on Earth she mustered up the strength in front of 20,000 people and speak as eloquently and beautifully about Kobe and Gigi. It was unbelievable."

Among her notable stories, Vanessa recalled the many romantic gestures her husband would do, including one particular anniversary in which he gifted her the actual blue dress worn by Rachel McAdams in The Notebook.

During Michael Jordan's heartfelt message, she was seen being comforted by Beyonce as she broke down in tears.


One of Smith's former colleagues and current personality on Undisputed, Skip Bayless, also spoke profoundly about the eulogy delivered by Bryant.