Lebron James stood in the middle of the Staple Center and delivered an emotional tribute to the late Kobe Bryant on Jan. 31, 2019. This past week has been a somber one as the world mourns the lives of those lost in the helicopter crash.
The parallels between Bryant’s and James’ career are many. Both came straight out of high school to the NBA. Both have achieved celebrated success at the highest level as NBA champions and MVPs.
James fought back the tears as he addressed the sold-out arena. He took a moment to acknowledge all those lost on the flight and named them individually. Once he was done he explained that he was told to stay on course by reading a prepared statement. He blurted out an expletive and decided to speak from the heart. This was to the approval of the fans as they cheered him on.
“As I look around this arena we’re grieving we’re all hurt we’re all heartbroken. But, when were going through things like this the best thing you can do is lean on the shoulders of your family. James continued, “Now I heard about Laker nation before I got here last year and about how much of a family it is. That is absolutely what I’ve seen here this whole week,” said James.
Funeral arrangements for Kobe and Gianna Bryant have not been announced.
TMZ reported that “Kobe Bryant’s public memorial could be such a massive event, organizers are considering holding it at the famous L.A. Coliseum because the Staples Center simply isn’t big enough.
“Our sources tell us … a meeting took place this week to discuss where Kobe’s eventual memorial might go down in the coming weeks or even months. People who were in the room say a few venues were considered – some made more sense than others.
“Of course, the Staples Center is [called] ‘The House That Kobe Built’ – but it only holds around 20,000 people. Judging by the massive response to his death, organizers feel they should be ready for a much larger crowd.”