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Entertainment & Arts

Jimmy Kimmel, Jennifer Lopez, Snoop Dogg among the celebs at Kobe Bryant memorial

Jennifer Lopez
Jennifer Lopez, shown at the SAG Awards in January, was in tears at Kobe Bryant’s memorial on Monday.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Jennifer Lopez’s face said it all while Vanessa Bryant spoke about daughter Gianna and husband Kobe Bryant during the memorial for the two held Monday.

Tears streamed down the entertainer’s face and her lower lip trembled as she tried to hold it together, fiancé Alex Rodriguez by her side.

At the memorial, celebrities and sports stars dotted the floor seats at Staples Center.

Jimmy Kimmel served as emcee for the service, which Beyoncé opened with two songs. Alicia Keys, clad in purple, performed a version of “Moonlight Sonata.” Bryant had once told agent Rob Pelinka he would attempt to learn the Beethoven number by ear to get through a trip where he was missing his wife and family, Pelinka said.

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Kanye West, Kim Kardashian, Khloé Kardashian and Kris Jenner sat all in a row; Gabrielle Union accompanied retired NBA husband Dwyane Wade.

Snoop Dogg was there, his eyes hidden, as so many people’s were, behind dark sunglasses. Christina Aguilera sang “Ave Maria.” “That was beautiful — and in Italian as well,” Kimmel noted after her powerhouse performance.

Among the Lakers-related faces in the audience: Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O’Neal, Phil Jackson, Jerry West, Rick Fox and LeBron James. Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors was there, as was retired Boston Celtics star Bill Russell. Other NBA players who were on hand included James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Kyrie Irving, Kyle Kuzma and Demar DeRozan.

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Lisa Leslie and Diana Taurasi were among those representing the WNBA, with Taurasi being one of the speakers.

Principal Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan, retired from the Chicago Bulls, called himself “very close friends” with Bryant. Tears streamed down his face as he spoke to the crowd about his “little brother.”

“Now he’s got me. I’ll have to look at another crying meme,” Jordan said, earning laughs and a big round of applause from the crowd. “I told my wife I wasn’t going to do this, because I didn’t want to see this for the next three or four years.

“But that’s what Kobe Bryant does to me. ... He knows how to get to you in a way that affects you personally.”


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