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ONE LAST GOODBYE: The memorial for Kobe and Gianna Bryant came on Monday and it featured family and friends of the departed, including some of the biggest names in the history of basketball, speaking beautifully about the father and daughter. Without question, the person who had the most touching speech was Bryant’s wife and Gianna’s mother, Vanessa Bryant, who showed incredible strength and bravery keeping it together while sharing some of her favorite memories of her husband and daughter.
Michael Jordan, who doesn’t often make public comments these days, also gave a memorable speech, saying that Kobe was like a younger brother to him and that a piece of him died when Bryant passed. He also provided us with one of the much-needed comedic moments of the memorial when he said he knew his tears yesterday would be used to create the next Crying Jordan meme, which the crowd, including Stephen Curry, erupted with laughter upon hearing. There was also Shaquille O’Neal, who spoke lovingly about his old friend and teammate, and gave us an incredible Kobe story, one that featured Shaq informing Kobe that there is no ‘I’ in ‘team’ after some teammates complained about the lack of Bryant passing, to which the legendary 2-guard replied, well, there is an M-E in that m———–.
In all, it was a beautiful, unforgettable service, one very much fitting for the occasion.
Rest in peace, Kobe and Gianna.
REMEMBERING MAMBACITA: Bleacher Report spoke to more than 30 people who were close to Gigi, and in the stories they tell, you can feel how grief works, how memory works.
LAST NIGHT IN THE ASSOCIATION: Joel Embiid dropped a career-high 49 points against the Hawks in a 129-112 for Philadelphia. The interesting trend of Embiid or Ben Simmons balling out when the other is sitting out continues.
In Washington, Bradley Beal went off yet again, scoring 55 points on 19-of-33 shooting in a losing effort against the Bucks. In the process, Beal became the first player since Kobe Bryant to score 50-plus points on consecutive nights.
DION TO CONTENDER? The Lakers met with Dion Waiters last week and are going to work him out soon, which could lead to L.A. signing him. Waiters playing on one of the best teams in the league has incredible meme potential.
MAJOR INJURY: The Pacers are reeling, and things are getting worse, as Jeremy Lamb will miss the season due to torn ACL, MCL and fractured knee. Kudos to Lamb for knocking down two free throws after the injury. Mamba mode.
LOOKING FOR WORK: Four-year veteran Jonathon Simmons is joining the Warriors’ G League team in hopes of proving to teams he can help them right away. He’s also weighing two 10-day contract offers.
ONE ON ONE: We recently spoke to Raptors rookie Terence Davis, who is absolutely loving life in Toronto so far. Davis is averaging 16.7 points, 7.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists per-36 minutes this year.
VINSANITY: Vince Carter, 43 years young, is older than a coincidental 43 retired players who were All-Stars in their careers. Here is the complete list of all of them.
CONFUSING DECISION: Warriors owner Joe Lacob is still confused as to why Kevin Durant left the Warriors, who had so much, including a brand-new stadium, to offer. Either way, Lacob says it’s no hard feelings with the two-time champ.
FIGURING IT OUT: Russell Westbrook has been playing excellent basketball for months now, and it’s because he’s figured out how to play with James Harden, is dominating in transition and is taking way more shots around the basket.
CP3 SPEAKS: Future Hall-of-Famer Chris Paul sat down for an extremely insightful interview, one that featured a variety of topics, including Paul’s thoughts on how defenses have changed over the years.
TAKING OFF: Rookie point guard Coby White is heating up recently, averaging 23 points and 3.5 assists over his last four games. Even so, Bulls coach Jim Boylen doesn’t plan on starting him anytime soon. Luckily, in this instance, White agrees with his head coach.
UNDERSIZED BIG MAN: The Rockets going all-in with small-ball has led to PJ Tucker becoming a full-time center, and he’s performed wonderfully in that role. Tucker is a very underappreciated player.
SALARY QUIZ: WHO’S THIS NBA PLAYER? 🤔
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