Live blog: Kobe Bryant and Gianna honored in emotional memorial service

Thousands gathered Monday to pay tribute to NBA legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna.

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Basketball icon Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna were remembered at an emotional public tribute Monday, as thousands of mourners gathered at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

The proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation, an organization that "exists to further Kobe and Gianna Bryant's legacy through charitable endeavors in sports," according to its website.

Read the latest updates:

Live Blog

Michael Jordan helps Vanessa Bryant off the stage

NBA legend Michael Jordan helped Vanessa Bryant off the stage following her emotional tribute.

Vanessa Bryant is helped off the stage by former NBA player Michael Jordan after speaking during a celebration of life for her husband Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna.Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP

Mourners receive commemorative items

Vanessa Bryant says Gigi had so much more to offer this world

Vanessa reflected on all of the milestones she will never get to share with Gigi, such as her walking down the aisle on her wedding day or her father-daughter dance.

“Gianna would have been an amazing mommy,” she said. 

An aspiring WNBA star, Gianna advocated for women in the league to be paid fairer wages, Vanessa said, adding that "Gigi" would have been "the best player in the WNBA."

Vanessa Bryant remembers daughter Gigi as her 'best friend'

Vanessa Bryant thanked fans from around the world for their love and support. In his introduction of Vanessa, Jimmy Kimmel said the crowd would hear from the person Kobe and Gianna loved the most. Vanessa described Gianna as one of her best friends. 

Jimmy Kimmel fights back tears in stirring tribute

Jimmy Kimmel's voice shook and tears streamed down his face as he paid tribute to the victims of the helicopter crash that killed Kobe and Gianna.

The late-night host said it was difficult to find meaning in their tragic deaths, but he implored the crowd to be grateful for the time they have with the ones they love.

Kobe and Beyonce's dad once played one-on-one

It wasn't an ankle breaker, but Beyonce's dad once showed off some smooth moves against Kobe.

Kobe made an appearance on the video of the Destiny’s Child 1999 hit "Bug-A-Boo"  — so of course, Beyonce's dad, Matthew Knowles, challenged the then-budding NBA great to some one-on-one. Kobe wasn't playing the toughest defense when Knowles took it to hole for a lay-up.

“I don’t think he made another basket after that," Kobe fondly recalled in a Fox Sports interview.

Was there any trash talk? 

"I don't remember trash talk," Kobe said before correcting his memory, "Well I think I did." 

The faces in the crowd

We've seen a few glimpses of major figures in the audience: Shaq, NBA chief Adam Silver, Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West, former Lakers coach Phil Jackson, Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez ... 

Powerful start to the memorial: Beyoncé sings one of Kobe's favorite songs

Beyoncé, dressed in gold and bathed in purple light, took center stage at the beginning of the memorial. The crowd at the Staples Center erupted in applause.

Backed by a choir and musicians dressed in white, Beyoncé opened with her 2013 hit "XO" — which she said was one of Kobe's favorite songs. She then belted out "Halo," bringing her hands to her lips at the song's climax.

Fellow Lakers legends in attendance

Lakers legends Magic Johnson and Phil Jackson, the team's former coach, were among those in attendance.

NBA great Magic Johnson, top, former Lakers head coach Phil Jackson and others attend a public memorial at the Staples Center for Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven others killed in a helicopter crash.Lucy Nicholson / Reuters

Sabrina Ionescu pens tribute to 'mentor' Kobe

Sabrina Ionescu, a point guard for the Oregon Ducks and one of the speakers at the memorial, shared a tribute to Kobe that was published by The Players' Tribune on Monday.

Ionescu called Kobe a mentor and said that his death left her with "questions about my own path." 

"He didn't see growing the game with girls as his hobby, or some side project, or a charity case," Ionescu, who is expected to be the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s WNBA draft, wrote. "He saw it as a movement." 

Somber mood inside a normally energetic Staples Center

LOS ANGELES — The mood inside the Staples Center is incredibly somber. Many people are dressed in black, with Lakers purple and yellow scattered about. Usually bursting with energy, today the arena very much feels like a memorial as fans mourn the man many saw as a hero.