75ºF

The Latest: Kobe Bryant service ends with Oscar-winning film

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – The Latest on the public memorial for Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna in downtown Los Angeles (all times local):

12:45 p.m.

A selection from the short film “Dear Basketball” that won Kobe Bryant an Academy Award played on the big screens at Staples Center to wrap up a public memorial for the former Los Angeles Lakers superstar.

He won a 2018 Oscar in the animated short category for the film based on a poem he wrote after ending his 20-year career basketball career in 2016.

At the time, Bryant said he believed the nomination validated that he could succeed off the court and have a productive and creative retirement.

The memorial for Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others who died in a helicopter crash last month featured heartfelt stories from Bryant's widow, Vanessa, NBA legends Michael Jordan and Shaquille O’Neal and other friends in the basketball community. Beyonce, Alicia Keys and Christina Aguilera performed.

The memorial ended after the film was shown, and the crowd began chanting, “Kobe! Kobe!”

___

12:35 p.m.

NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal said he and his former Los Angeles Lakers teammate Kobe Bryant had a complex relationship but that they always respected each other and never took things too seriously.

O’Neal spoke at a public memorial Monday for Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven others killed in a helicopter crash last month. He recalled an early conflict with Bryant, who wasn’t passing as much as O'Neal would’ve liked.

O'Neal said he told Kobe: “There’s no ‘I’ in team.” Kobe responded: “Yeah, but there’s a ‘M-E,’” followed by an expletive. The crowd roared with laughter.

The two won three NBA championships together.

O’Neal said Bryant early on told him others in the NBA were playing checkers while he was playing chess. O’Neal remembered saying, “Kobe, I don’t know how to play chess.”

Christina Aguilera then sang “Ave Maria.”

___

12:20 p.m.

NBA legend Michael Jordan said at a public memorial that “when Kobe Bryant died, a piece of me died.”

He said Monday at the Staples Center that a piece of everyone in the crowd died as well. He urged people to use the inspiration of Bryant’s life for their own.

Jordan said once when he made a visit to the Lakers locker room, Kobe asked him, “Did you bring your shoes?” Jordan said it was just a social call, but Bryant was ready for one-on-one.

He said to “rest in peace, little brother," getting a standing ovation as he left the stage.

Mourners packed the Staples Center to remember Bryant, his daughter Gianna and the others who died last month in a helicopter crash.

___

12:15 p.m.

Tears streaming down his face, NBA legend Michael Jordan said at a public memorial that he thought of Kobe Bryant as a little brother.

Jordan joked Monday that like little brothers, the younger Bryant peppered him with questions about what to expect as his career with the Los Angeles Lakers started taking off. Jordan got laughs from the crowd at the Staples Center.

The former Chicago Bulls superstar said he received calls from Bryant at all hours, eager to talk about the game, business and family.

Jordan said Bryant was eager to become the best basketball player, and it made him want to be the best big brother he could be.

He says Bryant had “passion like you would never know."

___

12 p.m.

Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka said Kobe’s last texts to him came shortly before a helicopter crash killed the NBA superstar and eight others.

Pelinka said Monday at a public memorial that Bryant wanted his help to secure an internship for a daughter of his friend John Altobelli, who also died in the crash.

He called Bryant’s last act “heroic.” Pelinka says Bryant wanted to “use his platform to bless and shape a young girl’s future.”

Pelinka said the NBA legend’s famous “Mamba mentality” extended to his roles as friend, father and husband.

Pelinka described how Bryant accomplished whatever he set his mind to, including learning to play Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata" on piano. Then he introduced Alicia Keys, who performed a version of the sonata.

Mourners packed the Staples Center to remember Bryant, his daughter Gianna and the others who died last month.

___

11:45 a.m.

The University of Connecticut women’s basketball coach says he came to the public memorial for Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna as a father, not as a basketball coach.

Geno Auriemma described to the Staples Center audience Monday the excitement that 13-year-old Gianna showed while visiting UConn, where she had hoped to one day play basketball.

Bryant and Gianna were killed along with seven others in a helicopter crash last month while they headed to a basketball tournament that the teen was going to play in.

The memorial event began with a performance by Beyonce. Bryant’s widow, Vanessa, brought tears to people’s eyes as she spoke, giving an intimate portrait of her husband and daughter.

___

11:30 a.m.

College basketball star Sabrina Ionescu says at a public memorial for Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna that the 13-year-old had a better fadeaway jump shot than she does.

The Oregon Ducks point guard and all-time NCAA leader with 25 triple-doubles said Monday that Gianna represented the future of the WNBA.

Ionescu called the teen “a sun just starting to rise.”

Ionescu said she modeled her game on Kobe’s. The Laker superstar watched her games on TV and regularly texted her congratulations and advice.

Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven others were killed last month in a helicopter crash in foggy weather.

___

11:25 a.m.

WNBA great Diana Taurasi has told the crowd at Kobe Bryant’s public memorial that watching the Lakers star play inspired her.

Bryant, who was known as the “Black Mamba,” nicknamed Taurasi the “White Mamba.”

Taurasi says Bryant had a competitive fire that ran through his veins and a willingness to work hard.

Monday’s memorial for Bryant and his daughter Gianna has drawn a sellout crowd to Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles.

The event began with Beyonce singing her hits “XO” and “Halo.” An emotional Jimmy Kimmel told the audience about the many Kobe murals that have appeared around the city since his death last month.

Bryant’s widow, Vanessa, brought tears to people’s eyes as she spoke, giving an intimate portrait of her husband and daughter.

___

11:10 a.m.

Vanessa Bryant has given mourners at a public memorial for Kobe Bryant and their daughter Gianna an intimate portrait of her husband.

She said the world saw Kobe as a celebrity and basketball legend — the Black Mamba — but to her he was her best friend and protector.

Vanessa described him as a loving husband and devoted father with a tender heart who was “the MVP of girl dads.”

He loved to watch romantic movies with them and put them to bed every night.

Vanessa said she and Kobe planned to renew their vows and travel the world together.

They talked about how they looked forward to becoming the “cool grandparents" after their kids have their own children.

Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven others were killed last month in a helicopter crash in foggy weather. Vanessa Bryant on Monday sued the company that operated the helicopter.

___

11 a.m.

Kobe Bryant’s widow, Vanessa, said at a public memorial that the outpouring of love and support from around the world has uplifted the family in their grief.

She fought back tears Monday as described Gianna as a sweet, thoughtful soul who loved always kissing her mother good morning and goodnight.

Vanessa said Gianna loved swimming, singing along with hit songs, baking cookies and watching “Survivor” and NBA games with her father.

She says the 13-year-old loved basketball so much she even offered the boys’ school team advice.

Vanessa predicted that Gianna could have become “the best player in the WNBA.”

Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven others were killed last month in a helicopter crash in foggy weather. Vanessa Bryant on Monday sued the company that operated the helicopter.

___

10:55 a.m.

A host of NBA greats past and present are mourning at the public memorial for Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna.

Jerry West, Phil Jackson, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Bill Russell, Pau Gasol and Steph Curry are among the crowd at Staples Center on Monday.

Late night host Jimmy Kimmel introduced Bryant’s widow, Vanessa, who received a standing ovation from the crowd.

An emotional Vanessa thanked the crowd for coming, saying she’s received an outpouring of love.

Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven others were killed last month in a helicopter crash in foggy weather while heading to a basketball tournament that Gianna was to play in.

___

10:55 a.m.

Late night host Jimmy Kimmel says at a public memorial for Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna that the world could be “grateful for the time we had with them."

An emotional Kimmel said Monday that a positive thing he found to take away from the tragedy was gratitude for the lives of the nine people killed last month in a helicopter crash and “the time we have left with each other."

Kimmel said sports is unique in that it brings together people from various backgrounds to celebrate something they all love.

Nearly the entire crowd heeded Kimmel’s suggestion that they introduce themselves and shake hands and hug the people next to them. That was followed by a spontaneous chant of “Kobe."

___

10:45 a.m.

Fans attending the public memorial for Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna are watching a video of highlights from the 20-year career of the former Los Angeles Lakers star.

Bryant’s widow, Vanessa, could be seen looking up at the big video screens with tears in her eyes.

The memorial began Monday at Staples Center with Beyonce singing her hits “XO” and “Halo.” Late night host Jimmy Kimmel spoke first.

Fans fortunate enough to get tickets to the service filled the arena, where a stage surrounded by thousands of red roses has replaced the basketball court.

Bryant, his daughter and seven others were killed last month in a helicopter crash in foggy weather while heading to a basketball tournament that Gianna was to play in.

___

10:30 a.m.

The public memorial for Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna has begun at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

The memorial began Monday with a musical performance by Beyonce, who sang her song “XO."

Fans fortunate enough to get tickets to the service filled the arena, where a stage surrounded by thousands of red roses has replaced the basketball court.

Bryant, his daughter and seven others were killed last month in a helicopter crash in foggy weather while heading to a basketball tournament that Gianna was to play in.

Bryant’s widow, Vanessa, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the company that operated the helicopter, saying the pilot killed in the crash was negligent and careless. ___

10:30 a.m.

The widow of Kobe Bryant has sued the owner of the helicopter that crashed in fog and killed her husband and her 13-year-old daughter last month.

The wrongful death lawsuit filed by Vanessa Bryant in Los Angeles says the pilot was careless and negligent by flying in cloudy conditions Jan. 26 and should have aborted the flight.

Pilot Ara Zobayan was among the nine people killed in the crash.

The lawsuit was filed as a public memorial service for Kobe Bryant, his daughter, and all the victims was being held at the arena where Bryant played most of his career.

___

10 a.m.

Los Angeles Lakers fans are pulling on commemorative T-shirts they were given of Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna at a public memorial for the two, who were killed along with seven others in a helicopter crash last month.

Many fans are violating the cellphone use ban inside Staples Arena on Monday and are taking photos and videos.

It’s somber and people are chatting in whispers and leafing through programs from their seats as songs like Eric Clapton’s “Layla,” the Beatles’ “Yesterday” and Van Morrison’s “Into the Mystic” play in the minutes before the formal ceremony starts.

The memorial will feature speakers reflecting on Bryant's impact on basketball and the world, along with music and retrospectives on Bryant's on-court achievements.

___

9:45 a.m.

Los Angeles Lakers fans are filing into Staples Center to remember Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna, who were killed along with seven others in a helicopter crash last month.

The arena where Bryant played features a stage surrounded by thousands of red roses below the scoreboard that's showing images of Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter.

Fans arriving for Monday’s public memorial service are being given a program that only contains photos, a purple KB pin and a T-shirt with photos of the father and daughter.

The concourse is a sea of purple, gold and black clothing.

Dozens of fans took photos with a mural inside Staples Center of Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal after a championship win.

Janel Alexander of Encino said the mural brought back good memories of “a moment in time that was better than today.”

___

8:40 a.m.

While waiting for Kobe Bryant's memorial services to begin in Los Angeles, Alyssa Shapiro says she was inspired to become a basketball player after watching countless Lakers games with her father, Rick Shapiro.

The family’s love of the game and Bryant’s work in women’s sports prompted her to become a middle school girls’ basketball coach. Her team played the team of Bryant's daughter Gianna, who died with her father and seven others in a Jan. 26 helicopter crash.

Alyssa Shapiro said before the memorial service Monday for Bryant and his daughter that she watched Bryant cheer for Gianna from the stands.

She held homemade heart-shaped “Kobe” and “Gigi” signs ahead of the memorial service and said she “just wanted to thank him for being such an inspiration to me.”

___

7:30 a.m.

Fans are arriving hours early for the public memorial for Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna that will be held in downtown Los Angeles

Among them is 72-year-old Bob Melendez, who says he has been a Lakers season ticket holder for 40 years.

Melendez says that after seeing Bryant play for many years he couldn't imagine missing Monday's memorial at Staples Center.

His friend Tom Ling says he couldn't believe it when heard of Bryant's death.

Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26.

The memorial is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. Los Angeles time.

___

12: 30 a.m.

Thousands of mourners are expected to gather at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles to say farewell to Kobe and Gianna Bryant.

The basketball superstar and his 13-year-old daughter will be honored in a public memorial at the arena where Bryant played for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Kobe and Gianna Bryant died along with seven others on Jan. 26 in a helicopter crash.

The memorial will feature speakers reflecting on Kobe Bryant's impact on his sport and the world, along with music and retrospectives on Bryant's on-court achievements. Bryant became active in film, television and writing after he retired from basketball in 2016.

Bryant's family, dozens of sports greats and many major figures in Bryant's public life are expected to attend.