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Magic Johnson Reflected On The Life Of Kobe Bryant In Emotional Speech Before All-Star Game

Gettyimages | Robert Laberge
By Clark Sparky

Kobe Bryant was honored several times before the 2020 NBA All-Star Game on Sunday night, first with a highlight video produced by Dr. Dre and then with an emotional performance by Jennifer Hudson. Between those tributes, Bryant's fellow Lakers legend Magic Johnson took the court to make a speech about Kobe and lead the crowd in a moment of silence.

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"We'll never see another basketball player quite like Kobe, scoring 81 points in one game, scoring 60 points in his last game, and then, winning five NBA championships. But what I'm really proud about when we think about Kobe Bryant... he was passionate about being a great father, husband, filmmaker -- young man won an Oscar -- so we all are hurting," he said. "This is a tough time for the whole NBA family, and if I can get you all to rise right quick."

"All I want you to, just for [David Stern] and Kobe, just hold hands... we need to embrace each other," Johnson continued, referencing the late NBA commissioner. "If we could just have it quiet for eight seconds."

Gettyimages | Kevork Djansezian

Kobe's wife, Vanessa, was not in attendance, but she shared a message with fans earlier in the week as she struggles with the loss of her husband and their daughter, Gianna.

"I’ve been reluctant to put my feelings into words. My brain refuses to accept that both Kobe and Gigi are gone. I can’t process both at the same time. It’s like I’m trying to process Kobe being gone but my body refuses to accept my Gigi will never come back to me. It feels wrong. Why should I be able to wake up another day when my baby girl isn’t being able to have that opportunity?! I’m so mad. She had so much life to live."

She continued:

"Then I realize I need to be strong and be here for my 3 daughters. Mad I’m not with Kobe and Gigi but thankful I’m here with Natalia, Bianka and Capri. I know what I’m feeling is normal. It’s part of the grieving process. I just wanted to share in case there’s anyone out there that’s experienced a loss like this. God I wish they were here and this nightmare would be over. Praying for all of the victims of this horrible tragedy. Please continue to pray for all."

Vanessa also shared a heartfelt message on Friday about Bryant being her forever Valentine.

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