Watch Michael Jordan's Entire Speech at Kobe Bryant Memorial

Basketball legend Michael Jordan helps Vanessa Bryant down from the stage after she gives a speech at Kobe and Gianna Bryant's memorial service

The ceremony was an opportunity for Bryant's fans and the public to mourn and honour the fallen Los Angeles Lakers icon who died in a helicopter crash alongside his 13-year-old daughter and seven others on January 26.

She began with a heart wrenching eulogy about her daughter Gianna, telling the crowd that Gigi loved basketball would have undoubtedly gone on to become one of the best players in the WNBA.

"When Kobe died, a piece of me died", Jordan said.

The crowd was full of National Basketball Association greats including Michael Jordan and former Lakers teammate Shaquille O'Neal, who both gave touching tributes, Scottie Pippen, Magic Johnson and Steph Curry, and celebrity friends including Jennifer Lopez and her fiancé, retired baseball star Alex Rodriguez.

"Everyone always wanted to talk about the comparisons between he and I".

Vanessa added: "I couldn't see him as a celebrity, nor just an incredible basketball player".

"Here we are together on music's biggest night celebrating the artists that do it best, but to be honest with you, we're all feeling insane sadness right now because earlier today in Los Angeles, America and the whole wide world lost a hero", she said during her opening monologue. Maybe it surprises people that Kobe and I were very close friends, but we were very close friends.

She then went into a touching tribute to the love of her life, Kobe, whom she was married to for almost 20 years and called her soulmate.

"Rest in peace, little brother".

"I said 'I'll talk to him'".


"This kid had passion like you would never know", Jordan said.

Bryant, who modeled much of his game after Jordan, played against Jordan eight times in his career.

At the end of her song, Beyoncé made eye contact with Bryant's widow Vanessa, who shook her head in approval as she appeared to cry.

"Now he's got me, I'm going to have to look at another crying meme for the next -" Jordan said, tears in standing out clearly on his face.

"Kobe and I pushed one another to play some of the greatest basketball of all time", said O'Neal.

"Kobe and I always maintained a deep respect and love for one another".

Kobe's 33,643 points now put him fourth on the chart, with only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone and LeBron James above them.

"Mamba, you were taken away from us way too soon, just know that we got your back, little brother".

Alicia Keys performs during The Celebration of Life for Kobe & Gianna Bryant.

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