Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven other people died in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26, 2020. In February of that year, Bryant's wife and Gianna's mother, Vanessa Bryant, gave a powerful eulogy at the celebration of life event at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Vanessa spoke in front of 20,000 people and explained how great of a man Kobe was.
"I have no idea how I deserved a man that loved and wanted me more than Kobe," she said to the crowd. "He was charismatic, a gentleman. He was loving, adoring and romantic. He was truly the romantic one in our relationship. I looked forward to Valentine's Day and our anniversaries every year." Before Vanessa took the stage, she received a standing ovation. She thanked everyone for their love and support over the last few weeks and started talking about Gianna.
"She knew how much her morning and evening kisses meant to me," Vanessa said. "She was so thoughtful to remember to kiss me every day. She was Daddy's girl but I know she loved her mama. She would always tell me and show me how much she loved me. She was one of my very best friends. She loved faith, she loved putting a smile on everyone's faces." Vanessa also sent a message to Kobe in her closing statement.
"God knew they couldn't be on this earth without each other. He had to bring them home to him together," she said. "Babe, you take care of our Gigi. And I got Nati, Bibi and Coco. We're still the best team. We love and miss you, Boo Boo and Gigi. May you both rest in peace and have fun in heaven until we meet again one day. We love you both and miss you. Forever and always. Mommy."
Everyone in the arena and everyone watching at home was emotional after Vanessa's eulogy. When she was finished, Michael Jordan took her hand and escorted her back to her stage. Jordan also spoke at the event, as did Kobe's former teammate Shaquille O'Neal. Kobe meant so much to the Los Angeles Lakers, NBA and the entire sports and entertainment community. Along with being one of the best players in NBA history and winner of five NBA titles, Kobe was a loving husband and father to four daughters and stayed involved in their lives.