Kobe Bryant's Former Teammates Attend Moving L.A. Memorial for Late NBA Star
Shaquille O'Neal and Lamar Odom were among former Los Angeles Lakers players at the Staples Center celebration of life
Numerous former teammates of Los Angeles Lakers icon Kobe Bryant, as well as his many celebrity friends, were among the large crowd at Staples Center on Monday for the late athlete’s memorial service.
Shaquille O’Neal, Lamar Odom, and Derek Fisher all attended the celebration of life for Kobe, 41, and his daughter Gianna, 13, who were among those who died in a Jan. 26 helicopter crash.
Other prominent athletes in attendance included Michael Phelps, Alex Rodriguez, Michael Jordan, Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Dwyane Wade, Kyle Kuzma, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kemba Walker, Anthony Davis, and Magic Johnson.
The event was organized, in part, by Kobe’s longtime NBA team, the Los Angeles Lakers.
Countless NBA players have honored Kobe and Gianna since their deaths, including Wade, LeBron James and more.
Both James and Anthony Davis got permanent ink in honor of the teen and the former Laker, while also repeatedly speaking out in memory of their former friend.
O’Neal admitted in an interview with Today Show‘s Craig Melvin earlier this month that it was “very hard” to process Kobe’s death.
“A lot of people thought we had problems,” O’Neal said of his relationship with his former teammate. “It wasn’t real-life problems. Same problems me and Charles have, same problems me and Kenny have when we are at work.”
“But the key thing that we always had for each other was respect,” he continued. “Because I always tell people, after we won our first championship, who’s the little guy that jumped in my arms? Roll the tape. Once we figured it out, that’s all that mattered to me.”
And just over the weekend, Wade reflected on Kobe’s legacy during his own Miami Heat jersey retirement ceremony.
“Kobe said the most important thing is to try to inspire others so they can be great in whatever they choose to do. I hope I’ve inspired all of you,” he said. “Thank you for making me a part of your legacy. Please know you are a huge part of mine. God bless you all. Heat Nation, I love you, thank you.”