LOOK: NBA stars pour in more tributes during Kobe-Gigi memorial
MANILA, Philippines – Much has been said about the lives of the late Kobe and Gigi Bryant, and of course, people will still have a lot more to say and will likely never run out.
Some of the basketball’s biggest icons like Michael Jordan and Shaquille O’Neal had a chance to do so during the 2/24 (February 25, Manila time) Kobe and Gianna Bryant Celebration of Life event held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Highlighted by an extremely personal anecdote from the widowed Vanessa Bryant, the memorial brought out the broadest spectrum of emotions, from hearty laughs to stifled sobs.
Of course, the NBA family’s outpouring of support stretched far beyond the confines of Staples Center, with many friends and former foes taking to social media to commemorate the lives lost in the tragic January 26 helicopter crash.
LA Lakers superstar LeBron James, who had likely said all he had to say in the Lakers’ own tribute show last February 1, left a simple image on his Instagram account to remember the fallen Bryants.
Dwyane Wade, who recently celebrated his Miami Heat jersey retirement and ended his speech with a quote from Kobe, made sure to also remember his friend on this day.
Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance, Jr., both of whom held the honor of being Kobe’s final set of teammates in his 20th season with the Lakers, also aired their tributes online.
The Fil-Am Clarkson also notably received Kobe’s final basketball play in the NBA: an assist to cap off a 60-point night in a comeback win against the Utah Jazz.
Even Kobe’s old foe-turned-friend Matt Barnes took the time to honor his memory. Barnes was best known for trying – and failing – to make the Mamba flinch during an inbound play when he was still with the Orlando Magic.
Lastly, Kobe’s partner-in-crime during his latter two title runs, Pau Gasol, dropped his own tribute online for a great “amigo.” The star duo was known for alienating foes on the court by calling plays in Spanish.
Their two NBA championships obviously meant that the strategy worked somehow.
The basketball world will likely never get over the sudden passing of a hoops icon fresh off the end of his hardwood career and a bright prospect just at the start of hers.
But in the words of Kobe himself, "everything negative - pressure, challenges - is all an opportunity to rise." – Rappler.com