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Kobe Bryant’s Los Angeles Memorial Inspired A lot of Tears and a Few Laughs

Our favorite reactions to the star-studded, gut-wrenching event.

The Staples Center was packed today, as celebrities, athletes, and fans came together for a memorial service honoring Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna, both of whom died in a helicopter crash nearly a month ago.

As expected, the event was a celebration of Kobe’s life on and off the court. It was also really damn sad, as even after some time has passed people are still in shock that he died at such a young age, at the beginning of such a promising post-basketball career. They naturally took to Twitter to share their reactions, and we gathered some of the most notable ones.

One of the featured speakers was Bryant’s former agent and current Lakers GM Rob Pelinka. He shared a story of the last time they communicated, with a few texts on the morning of the accident. Bryant was trying to set up an internship for the daughter of John Altobelli, the baseball coach who also perished in the crash.

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Performances from Beyoncé and Alicia Keys were greeted with awe and appreciation. Beyoncé chose one of Kobe’s favorite songs, “XO,” and performed it with sparse instrumentation and a full choir.

Alicia Keys played “Moonlight Sonata,” the famous Beethoven composition that Bryant and his wife Vanessa loved, which Bryant taught himself to play on the piano as a surprise for her.

The most emotional speech of the event, unsurprisingly, came from Vanessa Bryant. That she gathered the strength to even appear in the first place was impressive.

After her eulogy, Michael Jordan helped Vanessa Bryant off of the stage, a moment that resonated with lots of fans.

Jordan also had the joke of the day — a weird thing to say about a memorial — when he joked that he’d “have to look at another crying meme” as he spoke with tears streaming down his face.

In the more serious sections of his speech, Jordan called Kobe his “little brother,” which made the fact that he was delivering the eulogy feel even sadder and stranger.

Shaquille O’Neal, Bryant’s teammate for TK years, also provided a moment of brevity. When he remembered telling Kobe “There’s no ‘I’ in team” and getting the response “Yeah, but there’s an ‘ME’ in that motherfucker.”

The live feed had a few glitches during Shaq’s speech, which more than a few folks interpreted as Bryant playing a joke on his friend.

The memorial made it clear how much Kobe would be missed by his friends and peers. The reaction to the  memorial made it clear how much everyone else would miss him too.