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UPDATED: LeBron James Love message To Kobe Braynt’s Wife Venessa After Seemingly Missing Memorial

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Gianna and dad

Amid speculation that he didn’t attend the Kobe Bryant memorial, LeBron James praised Vanessa Bryant’s strength and courage to deliver such a ‘powerful’ eulogy.

“One thing I can come out of it saying is how strong and how bold and how powerful Vanessa [Bryant] is,” LeBron James said at the Los Angeles Lakers’ shootaround on Tuesday (Feb. 25), according to Sports Illustrated. LeBron, 35, praised Vanessa, 37, one day after she delivered a stirring eulogy for Kobe and Gianna Bryant in front of 19,000 fans at the Staples Center.

Lesbron James
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“To stand up there the way she did, to give that speech the way she gave that speech. I commend her. My heart is with their family still. With his three daughters that are still here. With his wife. With his mom and dad and his sisters. It was just a very difficult day. Obviously, a celebration, but it was a difficult day for all of us.”

While many celebs attended the Feb. 24 memorial, LeBron James wasn’t seen among the mourners. With the growing talk that he didn’t attend, LeBron didn’t directly answer when asked if he missed the event. “Um, like I said man, it’s just, I respect your question for sure, but it’s very emotional,” he said. “A very emotional day. A very tough day for myself, for my family, for everyone involved.”

Venessa Bryant and Lesbron James
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In addition to praising Vanessa, LeBron also gave props to Michael Jordan, 57, and his touching speech. “It’s well documented how their relationship was,” LeBron 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.”

LeBron — who said that he always looked up to Kobe and that playing alongside him at the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games was a dream come true – noted that the Monday, the day of the memorial, was a “tough” one. “Emotionally [I’m] a wreck, like everyone else,” he said. “Another challenging day for all of us. 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.”

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“It’s never a closure,” LeBron added. “It’s never going to be a closure. I mean, we continue to live on his legacy and continue to have our hearts heavy with both sadness and with happiness for his family that are still here. So, it’s not a closure. But it was a celebration which was well received from not only the Laker faithful, not only the family here, but everybody around the world.”

Following the Jan. 26 death of Kobe, Gianna, and seven other people aboard that fatal helicopter crash, LeBron honored his “brother” Kobe with numerous tributes. He penned an emotional message about how he was “heartbroken and devastated” by the loss. He got a memorial tattoo of a “Black Mamba,” Kobe’s nickname, on his knee. At the Lakers’ first game since Kobe’s death, LeBron broke down while giving a speech, saying that Kobe will “never be forgotten.” He also honored Kobe on the court, recreating one of Kobe’s iconic dunks during the Feb. 6 game against the Houston Rockets.

LeBron James Praises Kobe Bryant’s Widow as He Evades Question About Whether He Was at Memorial
Lesbron James

While LeBron James was not shown on camera during the celebration of life held in honor of Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna on Monday, the basketball player says he is still reeling over the loss.

On Tuesday, James, 35, opened up about his emotional state following the public memorial at the Staples Center. Since he was not seen onscreen among his teammates and other sports luminaries at the televised tribute, the athlete was asked about his exact whereabouts on Tuesday during a morning practice for a Los Angeles game against the New Orleans Pelicans.

“I respect your question, for sure, but it’s very emotional,” James answered, according to ESPN. “A very emotional day. A very tough day for myself, for my family, for everyone involved.”

It was unclear whether James was in the crowd or watching from an undisclosed location during the memorial. Some viewers were left wondering if he was at the memorial when he did not appear on camera once during the 2½-hour celebration of life.

Lesbron James

Though James neither confirmed or denied his attendance at the ceremony, he did commend Bryant’s widow Vanessa for bravely stepping onto the stage to eulogize her late husband and daughter.

“One thing I can come out of it saying is how strong and how bold and how powerful Vanessa is. To stand up there the way she did, to give that speech the way she gave that speech. I commend her,” he said on Tuesday.

James continued, “My heart is with their family still. With his three daughters that are still here. With his wife. With his mom and dad and his sisters. It was just a very difficult day. Obviously a celebration, but it was a difficult day for all of us. So I appreciate it. If we could move on to tonight, that would be great.”

James also touched on whether or not the memorial provided some closure to the Lakers, who Bryant played for during his 20-year career.

Lesbron James speaks

“It’s never a closure. It’s never going to be a closure,” James said. “I mean, we continue to live on his legacy and continue to have our hearts heavy with both sadness and with happiness for his family that are still here. So it’s not a closure. But it was a celebration which was well received from not only the Laker faithful, not only the family here, but everybody around the world.”

The NBA star’s agent Rich Paul told ESPN that James was “in his own space” during the tribute, though he did not clarify whether he was in the building.

On Monday, James shared another Instagram tribute to Bryant, 41, and Gianna, 13, posting an image of the infinity symbol in front of a black background. The post also contained the date of their celebration of life, as well as purple and yellow heart emojis.

The two-time Olympic gold medalist previously paid tribute to Bryant and Gianna on social media, sharing video on Jan. 28 of him greeting the two during a Lakers game. He captioned the clip at the time, “My brother!! I love you man!!”

James also memorialized Bryant in a Jan. 27 Instagram post, in which he wrote, “Man I sitting here trying to write something for this post but every time I try I begin crying again just thinking about you, niece Gigi and the friendship/bond/brotherhood we had!”

Lesbron James say

“I’m heartbroken and devastated my brother!! 😢😢😢😢💔. Man I love you big bro. My heart goes to Vanessa and the kids. I promise you I’ll continue your legacy man!” he said in the post. “There’s so much more I want to say but just can’t right now because I can’t get through it! Until we meet again my brother!!”

On Feb. 1, ahead of the Lakers’ game against the Portland Trail Blazers, James delivered a passionate speech in honor of his late friend during a moving tribute to Bryant.

“Now, I’ve got something written down… but Laker Nation, man I would be selling y’all short if I read off this s— so I’m going to go straight from the heart,” James said, tossing his written speech on the ground. “As I look around this arena, we’re all grieving, we’re all hurt, we’re all heartbroken and when we’re going through things like this, the best thing you can do is lean on the shoulders of your family.”

Lesbron James walk

“Now, I’ve heard about Laker Nation before I got here last year, about how much of a family it is and that is absolutely what I’ve seen this week,” he continued. “Not only from the players, the coaching staff and the organization, but from everybody. Everybody that’s here, this is truly truly a family.”

“I know Kobe and Gianna and Vanessa and everybody is thank you from the bottom of their hearts.”

Bryant and his daughter Gianna were on their way to a youth basketball game with parents and players from the Mamba Sports Academy girls’ team when their helicopter crashed amid foggy conditions. The two died alongside pilot Ara Zobayan, Sarah and Payton Chester, Christina Mauser, John Altobelli, his wife Keri Altobelli and their daughter, Alyssa Altobelli.

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