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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.

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Live Blog

Husband and wife hold back tears leaving Staples Center

LOS ANGELES — William and Karen Urgía were blinking back tears as they stepped outside the Staples Center.

They were both especially moved by Michael Jordan’s speech — neither knew the two NBA greats had been so close.

“It really makes you think,” William said.

“The whole service was so moving,” Karen added. “We couldn’t miss it.”

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Tears and hugs as the memorial comes to a close

A sea of black, purple and yellow streamed out of the Staples Center after Jimmy Kimmel, visibly emotional and fighting back tears, closed out the memorial with another tribute to Kobe, Gianna and the other lives lost in last month's helicopter crash. Kimmel introduced a final clip reel showing some of Kobe's most remarkable feats of athleticism.  

People sobbed and hugged one another while exiting into downtown L.A., as moments of quiet were  interrupted by cheers for the legend everyone was there to grieve and celebrate.

Kobe wasn't just an athletic superstar. He was a budding filmmaker.

In addition to dominating professional basketball and inspiring millions with his athletic prowess, Kobe was a budding filmmaking talent with an interest in visual storytelling and animation.

"Of course, because he is Kobe Bryant, the first movie he made won an Oscar," Jimmy Kimmel said before introducing "Dear Basketball," a 2017 animated short written and narrated by Kobe.

"Dear Basketball," with a stirring score by "Star Wars" composer John Williams, triumphed at the 90th Academy Awards in March 2018 — making Kobe the first pro athlete to win an Oscar.

Christina Aguilera sings 'Ave Maria'

Christina Aguilera sang a powerful and somber rendition of "Ave Maria" in Italian to honor Kobe, Gianna, and seven other victims of the helicopter crash. 

Her performance was accompanied by musicians playing stringed instruments, and while the singer did not give a speech, she did blow a kiss to the crowd at the end of the song. 

Shaq gets big laugh with a fondly remembered expletive

Shaq told the crowd that he once tried to talk to Kobe about hogging the ball.

"There's no 'I' in 'team,'" he remembered telling Kobe.

"I know," Kobe replied, per Shaq. "But there's an M-E in that motherf-----."

The audience went wild.

Kobe and Shaq: A brotherhood that ended in love but had its rocky points

Shaquille O'Neal delivered an emotional tribute to Kobe, putting a final loving touch on their relationship that had its share of ups and downs.

They both joined the Lakers in 1996, Shaq already an established superstar and Kobe an 18-year-old rookie. They became one of their sport’s most dynamic duos, leading Los Angeles to three consecutive world titles between 2000 and 2002.

But their eight-year pairing was a rocky one, with both stars needing the ball and maximum credit for the Lakers’ success. 

Two brothers reflect on their 'superman'

Like so many young Angelenos, brothers Miguel and Ronald Alfaro can’t remember the Lakers before Kobe.

Miguel, 24, said his earliest memory was watching a game when he was 5 years old. Those games were always on at home, more so than even the Dodgers, he said.

“Kobe was Superman, you know? Superman isn’t supposed to die,” Ronald, 22, said.

The two could barely hold back tears as they recalled their favorite moments.

Miguel still remembers a game in ‘06 or ‘07 when the Lakers beat the Phoenix Suns. “I don’t know what he did to me, but he touched me in a certain way. I feel like I lost a family member,” he said.

Michael Jordan draws praise for his Kobe speech

Michael Jordan isn't known for his public speaking, but his tribute to Kobe has drawn praise for its insight, candor and levity.

Michael Jordan: 'I'll have to look at another crying meme.'

Michael Jordan broke down crying in his tribute to Kobe, but he lifted the somber mood with a joke that drew huge applause and laughter: "I'll have to look at another crying meme."

He was referring to the famed internet meme known as "Crying Jordan," an image of the former Chicago Bulls megastar tearing up during his induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009.