While their appearance was (thankfully) not widely publicized at the time, Kobe Bryant’s parents were in attendance at his public memorial service held on Monday at the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. Joe Bryant, also a former NBA star, sat on the front row with his wife of almost 45 years, Pam Bryant (née Cox). Kobe’s mother has NBA ties too, as her brother John Arthur “Chubby” Cox III was also a player for the league during the late 1970s and early 1980s. They were joined by their two daughters – Kobe’s sisters – Shaya and Sharia.
Understandably, the couple did not speak at the service, but they were met with love and support by Lamar Fisher, head coach for the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks team, fellow NBA legend Magic Johnson, and famed rapper Snoop Dogg.
Just two days after the helicopter tragedy that claimed the lives of Kobe Bryant, his second oldest daughter Gianna as well as seven other victims, Extra published a video interview with another NBA star named Jerry West. You might know him as being the silhouette that serves inside the current NBA logo.
No Ad to show
“His personal family is just traumatized and devastated, as any family would be,” Mr. West said during the interview. He also said one of his children had been in touch with one of Kobe’s beloved sisters in the days following the accident. “My thoughts, my prayers, my hopes are with his family because they’re the ones who need it most.”
No Ad to show
As previously mentioned, albeit it subtle, West is the current “face” of the NBA. Even before Bryant’s untimely death, West was cited as saying he “wish they would” change the logo.
That sentiment has now been echoed in a petition to change the NBA’s logo instead to feature a silhouette of Bryant. As of this writing, the petition has gained 3.2 million signatures and is requesting a minimum total of 4.5 million. Many famous stars of other professions have joined this army of voices, included pop star Justin Bieber, who posted the below image to his Instagram account the day after Bryant’s death.
Monday’s memorial service was especially remarkable due to the strength of Kobe’s now-widowed wife, 37-year-old Vanessa Bryant.
“Gianna Bryant is an amazingly sweet and gentle soul,” she said of her late, young child. Vanessa is now left to raise three other daughters on her own. “[Gianna] was always thoughtful.
She always kissed me goodnight and kissed me good morning.
There were a few occasions where I was absolutely tired from being up with Bianka and Capri and I thought she had left for school without saying goodbye. I text[ed her] and [said] ‘No kiss?’ and Gianna would reply with, ‘Mama, I kissed you but you were asleep and I didn’t want to wake you.'”
Vanessa ended her heartbreaking eulogy by saying that “God knew they couldn’t be on this earth without each other. He had to bring them home to Him together.”
Per Vanessa’s wishes, you can further the memory of everyone involved in last month’s tragedy by visiting MambaOnThree.org.