On Monday, family, close friends, and thousands of fans flooded the Staples Center to celebrate the life of Kobe Bryant and his daughter GiGi after their unexpected passing in a helicopter crash that claimed the lives of 9 people late last month.
While the memorial was a celebration of their lives, it was still hard for everyone, including his wife Vanessa Bryant and kids.
LeBron James, who looked up to Bryant as a mentor and good friend, revealed to press on Tuesday morning that the service showed how powerful Vanessa is.
“One thing I can come out of it saying is how strong and how bold and how powerful Vanessa is,” he said. “To stand up there the way she did, to give that speech the way she gave that speech. I commend her.”
While it’s unclear if James was in attendance at the memorial as his agent, Rich Paul revealed to Stephen A. Smith of ESPN, that James spent the memorial “in his own space,” James confirms he’s still “emotionally a wreck like everyone else.”
“Another challenging day for all of us,” he continued. “Like you’ve been hearing me talk about the last couple times you guys asked me about the whole situation, it’s just been hard to kind of talk about it. Trying not to go back. It’s just tough.”
When asked if he thought Bryant’s memorial would help provide closure, James responded, “It’s never a closure. It’s never going to be a closure.”
“I mean, we continue to live on his legacy and continue to have our hearts heavy with both sadness and with happiness for his family that are still here. So it’s not a closure. But it was a celebration which was well received from not only the Laker faithful, not only the family here, but everybody around the world,” he added.
James also spoke on not wanting to continue discussing the ceremony, as it’s unfair to Bryant’s family.
“My heart his with their family still,” he expressed. “With his three daughters that are still here. With his wife. With his mom and dad and his sisters. It was just a very difficult day. Obviously a celebration, but it was a difficult day for all of us. So I appreciate it. If we could move on to tonight, that would be great.”
The Los Angeles Lakers will face off against the New Orleans Pelicans tonight.