Updated Feb 24, 2020 - Sports

Los Angeles celebrates Kobe and Gianna Bryant

Photo: Getty Images

Thousands of people gathered Monday at Los Angeles' Staples Center to mourn the death of NBA star Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna.

The big picture: Bryant played for the Los Angeles Lakers throughout his entire 20-season career and helped the city claim five championships. Gianna, a rising basketball player herself, often attended games with her father, who retired in 2016.

The highlights:

  • Vanessa Bryant eulogized her late husband as "the kind of man that wanted to teach future generations better and keep them from making his own mistakes."
  • Bryant also tearfully paid tribute to her daughter, mentioning the milestones her family won't get to share but saying that she "most likely would have become the best player in the WNBA."
  • Rob Pelinka, the Lakers' general manager and Kobe's best friend, talked about texting with Kobe while he was onboard the helicopter — as he was attempting to secure an internship for a family friend's daughter, using "his platform to bless and shape a young girl's future."
  • After a performance by Beyonce, emcee Jimmy Kimmel offered opening remarks, stating that continued "gratitude" for loved ones was his only takeaway from the tragedy.
  • Overcome with emotion, Michael Jordan spoke about his closeness with Kobe and how he saw him as a little brother — aggravating at times, but ultimately inspiring for his dedication to basketball.

In photos

Vanessa Bryant speaks at the service. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images
Inside the Staples Center
Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images
Current Laker Anthony Davis at the celebration
Laker Anthony Davis at the celebration. Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
A mural depicting Kobe and Gianna. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Go deeper: In photos: The life of NBA legend Kobe Bryant

Go deeper