Letters: Vanessa Bryant stands tall at memorial service

Mookie Betts cartoon.
(Jim Thompson / For The Times)

There have been many great speeches of inspiration over the years: Knute Rockne’s “win one for the Gipper,” Jim Valvano’s “don’t ever give up” and Lou Gehrig’s “luckiest man.”

Then there was Vanessa Bryant’s heartfelt speech this past Monday. The courage and bravery she displayed is beyond any scope. The raw emotion we all felt as her world was tragically turned upside down is a reminder of how cruel fate can be. Here’s hoping that nobody ever has to endure the same circumstance she has.

Craig London



Michael Jordan helps Vanessa down the stage after her eulogy speech . . . one of the greatest assists of his career.

Jeff Black
Los Angeles


On Monday, I sat in the same seat where I watched Kobe help lead the Lakers to five titles, where I watched his final game and where I watched his jersey retirement ceremony. It was the seat I sat in to watch him grow from a teenager into a man. But on this day, a day I never thought I’d see or wanted to see, I sat in the same seat to say a final goodbye to Kobe Bean Bryant and it was the most unreal feeling I have ever had inside that arena.

I was watching it all unfold in front of me and instead of hearing cheering and celebrating, all I could hear was pain and sorrow while shedding my own stream of tears. I still can’t believe that he is gone. His memorabilia fills my house and his image fills my heart and mind. I was blessed to meet Kobe on several occasions and witness first-hand his kindness. I feel so badly for his family, friends and all of his fans. But the fact that Kobe provided me with so many years of joy and happiness, that is what I will choose to remember. RIP Kobe & Gigi. Gone but never forgotten.

Geno Apicella


Shaquille O’Neal’s speech proved the deep respect and love he had for Kobe. Despite their differences over the years, they truly were “Big Brother /Little Brother.” How fitting that Gigi’s number (2), plus Kobe’s numbers (8 and 24) add up to 34, that being Shaq’s.


Richard Whorton
Studio City


No one column, social media post or TV show could ever articulate the impact of Kobe Bryant’s life and tragic death on Southern Californians.

Bill Plaschke’s wide-ranging homage of Feb. 23 was the best I’ve seen.

Hugh K. Malay

On the day that Vanessa Bryant, giants of the sports world and the city of Los Angeles gathered to say goodbye to Kobe, Gigi and the other victims of the helicopter crash, news broke of the filing of a multi-count wrongful death lawsuit on Ms. Bryant’s behalf.

Though she has every right to pursue this action, as a personal injury lawyer in this town for 35 years, I find the timing of the filing to be, on the one hand, shameless grandstanding, and on the other hand in poor taste. The wounds, particularly for Ms. Bryant, her family, and the families and friends of the victims, are still too raw. The filing could have, and should have waited. Simple as that.

Bud Chapman


Weighty matters

For his next ring walk, Tyson Fury should dress as Count Dracula.

Jack Spiegelman
Los Angeles

So Deontay Wilder blames his pre-fight costume’s weight for his loss to Tyson Fury rather than the many blows rained down upon his head by Fury? After Wilder gets out of concussion protocol he needs to give Godzilla a call; he wants his costume back.

Kevin Park
Mission Hills

I remember as a little kid having to listen to the radio to hear round-by-round updates on the Ali- Frazier fights. Still, it was more exciting than these pay-per-view fights of heavyweight boxers that no one cares about. Until boxing can display the personalities of an Ali, Frazier, Foreman or Tyson it will never resurrect boxing interest. I’d rather pay not to view.

Richard Katz
Los Angeles

Signing up

David Ortiz, a future Hall of Fame player, has just damaged his previous well-earned reputation as a well-liked player. Also, any sympathy he engendered as a result of being shot is gone. Big Papi had the audacity to call the player who announced the sign stealing scandal a “snitch.”


We’ve all learned an anatomy lesson: If you get shot in the back, it can hit you in your conscience.

Bruce N. Miller
Playa del Rey


Commissioner Manfred says that an “across-the-board restriction on video will send a message...that we’re really serious about cleaning this up.”

I think he’s put his finger on the problem. He doesn’t know what garbage pails are really for.

Mark Rothman
Los Angeles

Is it too late for Target to purchase some ad space on the Astros’ uniform?

Don Yousem
Thousand Oaks


The thinker

Thank you for the life-affirming article regarding former top prospect Brandon Wood. Wood’s hand-eye coordination and coordination ranked in or above the 99th percentile, but in high-pressure athletic situations (like many intelligent people) he tended to overthink things. The article represents an elegy to Yogi Berra’s aphorism: “Baseball is 90% mental. The other half is physical.”

The best athletes possess an ability to shut off that part of the mind that requires reflective decision making. Stated differently, variations of Mr. Wood’s recurring nightmare involving not being able to find his glove when called on by Mike Scioscia similarly haunt many of us. Mr. Wood’s positive mental attitude is exemplary.

Konrad Moore
San Diego

No clue at all

The NCAA, now on a losing streak that has begun to rival that of the Washington Generals, argues that California’s name, image and likeness (NIL) bill is unconstitutional. As a former lawyer, I am used to lay people throwing around the term “unconstitutional” without having any idea what the term entails. But when the lawyers for the NCAA, who should know better, use it in a court action, I don’t know whether to laugh at their ignorance, or cry at their ineptitude. At least, their losing streak is likely to remain intact.

Andrew Rubin
Los Angeles

Stirring the drink

What’s Bruin

From a short term investment standpoint, looks like we’re getting a better return on our Cronin-dollars than on our Kelly-chips.


Kathleen Siu
Los Angeles

On behalf of all Bruin fans and Shareef O’Neall (who transferred fo LSU just before the winning streak began) I want to apologize for giving up on this year’s basketball team. I have not seen this kind of energy (and defense) on a Bruins team in many years.

Mike Anderson
Sherman Oaks

Right the first time

Is Wally Skalij the best sports photographer in the world or what?

Fred Baranowski
San Diego

No fun and Games

To many of us, the two weeks every four years of the Summer Olympics just might be the most exciting 14 days in the world of sports. As kids how many of did not dream of competing?
However, the Japanese baseball leagues are playing their games wihout fans in the stands. That’s enough for me and should be for the IOC, and if not, it must be for the USOC.

Final score: Corona 9, Olympics 0

Fred Wallin
Westlake Village


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