'MVP of girl dads': Teary-eyed Vanessa bids goodbye to Kobe and Gianna at memorial service 

WION Web Team Los Angeles, United States of America Feb 25, 2020, 01.48 PM(IST)

Vanessa Bryant Photograph:( AFP )

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Vanessa Bryant called Kobe "the MVP of girl dads". 

Teary-eyed speakers shared their tales about Kobe Bryant at his memorial ceremony called 'celebration of life' in Staples Center on Monday. 

Also read: Kobe Bryant honoured at NAACP Image Awards 2020 with an empty basketball court

Jimmy Kimmel hosted the ceremony. 

The star-studded crowd included Lakers legends such as Jerry West, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson and Pau Gasol. NBA commissioner Adam Silver joined by NBA legend Michael Jordan, Phil Jackson and dozens of current NBA players, including Stephen Curry, James Harden, Kyrie Irving and Russell Westbrook. Hollywood A-listers Jennifer Lopez, Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West were also in attendance.

Also read: Kobe Bryant's widow Vanessa Bryant 'refuses to accept' death of her husband and daughter

Nearly 20,000 fans gathered at the Staples Center for the memorial of Kobe Bryant and Gianna Bryant. 

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Vanessa Bryant called Kobe "the MVP of girl dads". 

Vanessa could not hold her tears back and said: "God knew they couldn't be on this earth without each other, He had to bring them home to have them together. Babe, you take care of our Gigi."

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On her relationship with Kobe, Vanessa said: "He was the most amazing husband, Kobe loved me more than I could ever express or put into words. I was the fire. He was ice. Vice versa at times. ... He was my everything."

Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan had tears in his eyes while talking about Bryant, he said: "He wanted to be the best basketball player that he could be. And as I got to know him, I wanted to be the best big brother that I could be."

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Jordan concluded the speech by saying: "When Kobe died, a piece of me died."

Shaquille O'Neal compared his relationship with Kobe to John Lennon and Paul McCartney. He said: “Kobe and I have a very complex relationship throughout the years. But it’s like another leadership duo in John Lennon and Paul McCartney, whose creative rivalry led to some of the greatest music of all time,”. 

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“Kobe and I pushed one another to play some of the greatest basketball of all time and I am proud that no other team has accomplished what the three-peat Lakers have done since the Shaq and Kobe Lakers did it. Sometimes like immature kids, we argued, we fought.. Folks thought we were on bad terms. But when the cameras are turned off, he and I would throw a wink at each other and say, ‘Let’s go whoop some…'” he added. 

The memorial service ended with Nat King Cole's song Unforgettable as the crowd started chanting "Kobe, Kobe."