Vanessa Bryant Gets Standing Ovation, Breaks Down in Tears During Kobe and Gianna Tribute

The celebration of life for Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna is currently taking place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, and Kobe's wife Vanessa Bryant took the stage to honor her husband and daughter. As soon as Vanessa was announced, she got a standing ovation from the thousands in attendance. And once she started talking, Vanessa started to break down in tears.

Vanessa first thanked everyone for the love and support over the last few weeks and she began talking about Gianna. Vanessa said she missed looking at Gianna's beautiful face she's sad that she won't be going to the same high school as her older sister Natalia.

"Gianna Bryant is an amazingly sweet and gentle soul," Vanessa said. "She was always thoughtful. She always kissed me goodnight and kissed me good morning. There were a few occasions where I was absolutely tired from being up with Bianka and Capri and I thought she had left for school without saying goodbye. I text and say 'No kiss?' and Gianna would reply with, 'Mama, I kissed you but you were asleep and I didn't want to wake you.'"

Vanessa continued: "She knew how much her morning and evening kisses meant to me. 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."

Gianna had inspirations of playing college and pro basketball and Vanessa knows it would have happened.

"Gigi likely would have become the best player in the WNBA," Vanessa added. "She would have made a huge difference in women's basketball.

"I cannot imagine life without her. Mommy, Natalia, Bianka, Capri and Daddy love you so much, Gigi. I will miss your sweet handmade cards, your sweet kisses and your gorgeous smile. I miss you, all of you, every day. I love you."

Vanessa then went on to talk about Kobe who she called her "soulmate." She said that Kobe was a great father, husband and basketball player.


"I couldn't see him as a celebrity, nor just an incredible basketball player, she stated. "He was my sweet husband and the beautiful father of our children. He was my — he was my everything."

At the end of the tribute, Vanessa earned another ovation from the fans in attendance as Michael Jordan helped her down the steps of the stage.