The world is still coming to terms with the tragic loss of Kobe Bryant following the devastating helicopter crash last month that claimed the lives of 8 others, including his thirteen-year-old daughter Gianna.
Bryant's wife, Vanessa, has understandably been struggling with the death of her husband and daughter - and has frequently taken to Instagram to pay tribute to them.
Tonight, thousands of people have flocked to the Staples Center to pay tribute to Kobe and Gigi, as well as the other victims of the tragic accident and Vanessa, Kobe's widow, delivered an incredibly touching speech. Scroll on for the emotional clip.
For those of you that aren't aware, Kobe Bryant is a legend.
via: Getty ImagesAfter he left high school, he entered the NBA directly and went onto win 5 championships.
He was one of the world's best shooting guards.
via: Getty ImagesKobe Bryant made history on many occasions. His twenty-year career in the NBA saw him become the all-time leading scorer in Lakers history in 2010. At thirty-four years old, he also became the youngest player in league history to reach 30,000 career points. What an achievement.
However, in 2016, he retired.
via: Getty ImagesAfter a string of injuries began taking their toll on his body, he decided it would be best to leave the game, though that didn't stop him from coaching and doing extra work on the side in order to aid the NBA.
He made sure he went out with a bang.
via: Getty ImagesWho could ever forget that final game? The Lakers versus Utah Jazz. The latter team didn't stand a chance after seeing Kobe score sixty points in the game, which became a career highlight for the basketballer.
Last month, the world's heart was broken.
via: Getty ImagesKobe Bryant was tragically killed in a helicopter crash on Jan 26. The NBA star's private helicopter crashed in Calabasas at around 9:45 am local time, TMZ sports confirms.
Kobe was known for opting to use a helicopter for travel...
via: Getty ImagesBut tragically, his private helicopter went down and a "fire broke out," TMZ reports.
During a press conference, it was confirmed there were no survivors.
However, Bryant's daughter, Gianna, was also on board the helicopter at the time of the crash.
via: Getty ImagesTMZ Sports reports that Gianna, aged thirteen, tragically died in the crash. It is thought that the father and daughter were on their way to the Mamba Academy for basketball practice, nearby Thousand Oaks.
This is utterly devastating news.
Heartbreaking footage quickly emerged showing the aftermath of the tragedy.
.@LACOFD helicopter over the scene . As air ops quickly told me it is a fire not sheriffs chopper hovering and now… https://t.co/I5VE1IaTao— Richard Winton (@Richard Winton)1580066118.0
The tragedy claimed the lives of 7 others...
via: TwitterAll 9 of the passengers on board were confirmed to have died in the tragic crash.
The news has been hard for people to stomach.Kobe really touched the hearts of so many people, so tributes for the star have been pouring in.
Barack Obama reiterated that Kobe was a "legend."
Kobe was a legend on the court and just getting started in what would have been just as meaningful a second act. To… https://t.co/YlRRr9ng7Q— Barack Obama (@Barack Obama)1580075776.0
In a slightly less empathetic way, Donald Trump also tweeted this:Melania also sent her condolences.
And Whoopi Goldberg also emphasized how much of a hero he was.
RIP Kobe, hero to many including my grandson, extraordinary athlete and always kind to me & my family. My deepest condolences to his family— Whoopi Goldberg (@Whoopi Goldberg)1580070506.0
Kevin Hart was shocked by the news...
This honestly doesn’t make sense....I just saw you man. This hurts my heart. God please place your hands on his fam… https://t.co/dqHSB8SA5F— Kevin Hart (@Kevin Hart)1580071349.0
But his pain got worse as he found out that Kobe's daughter was involved too...
I have no words...All I have is real tears....This is beyond heartbreaking...#prayingforthebryantfamily #RIPGianna… https://t.co/x9XRqhfUQa— Kevin Hart (@Kevin Hart)1580074717.0
And supermodel Gigi Hadid talked about her close relationship with the legend.
Being a fan of yours brought so much joy to my life, like so many. Love forever. Sending strength and my deepest co… https://t.co/RUVYpPgXKU— Gigi Hadid (@Gigi Hadid)1580070975.0
Viola Davis was also amongst those who paid tribute to Kobe.
My heart goes out to Vanessa. Completely devastating. I know how much he LOVED his family and children! Just devast… https://t.co/DFCoMQBN0I— Viola Davis (@Viola Davis)1580080611.0
Amber Rose sent all of her love to Kobe's wife Vanessa Bryant.
As a mother I’m so devastated for Vanessa, her Daughters and their family. I sat and thought about my life without… https://t.co/NLFgBF1K5I— Amber Rose (@Amber Rose)1580105964.0
And a host of other sports personalities sent their condolences to the family.
Heart going out to the Bryant family right now. ❤️. RIP @kobebryant— Megan Rapinoe (@Megan Rapinoe)1580069569.0
And Usain Bolt too.
Still can’t believe @kobebryant 🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿 https://t.co/swscrtnFAx— Usain St. Leo Bolt (@Usain St. Leo Bolt)1580069894.0
One of the most painful outcomes of this tragic accident is reflected in Kobe Bryant's last Instagram post.
via: Getty ImagesHe and LeBron James were two legends in the sport. And they helped build each other, celebrate their successes and support one another through difficult times.
And just twenty-four hours before the incident, Kobe had congratulated LeBron.
So no wonder the news hit him extremely hard.
LeBron James emotional as he exits the Lakers team plane following news of Kobe and Gianna Bryant’s death. 💔😢 More… https://t.co/WRIM9Rhop0— Complex (@Complex)1580084220.0
He penned a heartbreaking tribute to Kobe.
via: Getty ImagesHe took to Instagram to pay tribute to the basketball legend, whom he describes as his "brother." "I’m Not Ready but here I go. Man I sitting here trying to write something for this post but every time I try I begin crying again just thinking about you, niece Gigi and the friendship/bond/brotherhood we had," he began the post.
"I literally just heard your voice Sunday morning."
via: Getty Images"Didn’t think for one bit in a million years that would be the last conversation we’d have. WTF!! I’m heartbroken and devastated my brother!! "Man I love you big bro," he continued.
He truly poured his heart out.
via: Getty Images"My heart goes to Vanessa and the kids. I promise you I’ll continue your legacy man! You mean so much to us all here especially #LakerNation and it’s my responsibility to put this shit on my back and keep it going!" "Please give me the strength from the heavens above and watch over me! I got US here!"
He then finished his touching tribute with a final message...
Kobe's wife, Vanessa, recently opened up about her tragic loss.
Vanessa admitted how difficult coming to terms with her loss is.
"It feels wrong."
"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."
Two weeks after their tragic deaths, Kobe and Gianna Bryant were laid to rest.
The ceremony was reportedly "extremely hard for everyone."ET. "The ceremony was extremely hard for everyone as it's still hard for them to grasp they lost two beautiful souls."
As well as the private funeral, Vanessa revealed the finalized plans for a public memorial service for Kobe and Gianna.
Today's date 2/24/20 is a special date for the family.
'2' is the number Gianna played in basketball.
On Valentine's Day, Vanessa paid tribute.
It was his favorite holiday.
She shared a photo.
And tonight's memorial has proved to be as emotional as expected...With millions of people around the world watching the memorial at The Staples Center, gathering outside the venue, or via live streams.
Vanessa, Bryant, Kobe's widow and Gigi's mother, delivered an incredibly moving speech.
"God knew they couldn't be on this earth without each other." #KobeFarewell 💜💛 https://t.co/ZqHCz2SNrs— Entertainment Tonight (@Entertainment Tonight)1582572530.0