AceShowbiz - While Kobe Bryant's sudden and tragic passing hit LeBron James hard, the third-highest scorer on NBA history was not seen among the mourners at the public memorial service for the late basketball star on Monday, February 24. Met at the Los Angeles Lakers’ shootaround on Tuesday, the 35-year-old athlete was asked if he attended the memorial.
LeBron refused to answer the question directly, expressing his feelings on that day when people gathered to celebrate Kobe's life instead. "I respect your question, for sure. It was very emotional, very emotional day, very tough day for myself, for my family, for everyone involved," he told Sports Illustrated.
He continued sharing, "It was just a very difficult day. Obviously celebration, but it was a difficult day for all of us. I’d appreciate it if we can move on tonight. That would be great. Emotionally a wreck, like everyone else. Another challenging day for all of us."
With that being said, the Ohio-born star preferred not to talk about this painful situation. "Like you've been hearing me talk about the last couple times you guys asked me about the whole situation, it's just been hard to kind of talk about it. Trying not to go back. It's just tough," he explained.
He, however, had some nice words about Kobe's widow Vanessa Bryant, who delivered an eulogy during the memorial at the Staples Center. "The one thing I can come out of this saying is how strong and how bold and how powerful Vanessa is to stand up there the way she did, to give the speech the way she gave that speech," he praised her. "I commend her. My heart is with her family still, with his three daughters that's still here, with his wife, with his mom and dad, his sister."
Kobe also gave props to Michael Jordan's touching speech at the memorial. "It's well documented how their relationship was," he said of Kobe and MJ's friendship. "Mike is always looked at as like a big brother to Kobe from the beginning. We've all seen that from the first time that they played in Chicago when Kobe was a young bol'. So, we all know that."
Besides Michael, four-time NBA champion Shaquille O'Neal delivered a moving speech at the memorial, while Dwyane Wade, Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Rick Foxx, Magic Johnson, Lisa Leslie, Beyonce Knowles and Jay-Z were seen among the attendees.