LeBron James reportedly attended Kobe Bryant’s memorial service at the Staples Center on Monday, but the Los Angeles Lakers star raised a lot of questions about his presence at the event since he didn’t speak and wasn’t spotted by the cameras.
The Los Angeles Times had reported that the Lakers star was indeed in attendance, although we couldn’t see him. While some people thought it was not correct that James was not filmed at the ceremony, others said that he might have asked not to be filmed during the Kobe Bryant memorial out of respect.
Other active NBA players who attended included Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, James Harden, Russell Westbrook and many others. NBA Hall of Famers Bill Russell, Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal, Phil Jackson, Elgin Baylor, Magic Johnson, Jerry West and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar were there, as were retired NBA stars Dwyane Wade, Pau Gasol and Steve Nash. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver also attended.
It was a very emotional ceremony where Vanessa Bryant, Michael Jordan and Shaquille O’Neal, among others, delivered heartfelt speeches that made plenty of fans cry remembering how great Kobe was on and off the court.
Before the memorial began, James posted “2/24,” the date of the memorial. This date had a special meaning because 2 is the number Bryant’s daughter Gianna wore and 24 was the number Bryant wore.
Back on Jan. 31, James delivered his own eulogy to Kobe at the Staples Center before tip-off against the Portland Trail Blazers. It was the Lakers’ first game since Bryant, Gianna and seven others died in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26.
“Kobe is a brother to me,” James said. “From the time I was in high school watching him from afar, to getting in this league at 18 and watching him up close, all the battles that we had throughout my career, the one thing that we always shared was that determination to just want to win, to just want to be great. The fact that I’m here now means so much to me. I want to continue, along with my teammates, his legacy. Not only for this year, but for as long as we can play this game of basketball that we love, because that’s what Kobe Bryant would want.”
Even though we wanted to see LeBron speaking about the Black Mamba, there was nothing else we could ask for this event.