Thousands of fans attended Monday’s sold-out public memorial to Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna.
Some of the celebrities and athletes in attendance at the Staples Center included: Kim and Khloe Kardashian, Kanye West, Kris Jenner, Gabrielle Union, Dwyane Wade, Ciara, Russell Wilson, Magic Johnson, Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez, Michael Jordan and Shaquille O’Neal.
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Popculture.com writes, “while the majority of fans were focused on the touching tributes, there were others that had some questions for those that planned the ceremony. Why weren’t Bryant’s parents, Joe and Pam, mentioned on Monday?”
Fans are said to be pissed that Kobe’s parents didn’t receive even the slightest acknowledgment. Several took to social media to note that Joe and Pam, as well as Bryant’s sisters, Shahya and Sharia, mentioned during the ceremony, and inquiring minds wants to know why?
Check out some of the reactions below.
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My heart ❤️ & Prayers go out to my Guy Kobe’s Father #JellyBean and his Queen and Kobe’s mother Pam!!!! The Parents that weren’t acknowledged today at all!!!!!! There is No Kobe without his Parents!!!!! I said it!!!! I don’t really care about anything else!!!!! #KobewastheyreBabybeforehewasYallHero #PrayforJoeandPamBryantaswell #TheyLosttheirBabyBoy #aparentshouldneverburytheirchild #JoeintroducedmetoKobe #honorthyFatherandMother🙏🏿❤️🌹🙌🏿 #DontrellmeaboutsellingTeeshirtsringsandTrophys
Such a sad day for so many. Yet my WHOLE HEART ACHES for #PamBryant and #JoeBryant Kobe’s parents, who are present at the #StaplesCenter but have not been acknowledged by ANYONE. They are his PARENTS. 💔 pic.twitter.com/MwgTb0agAS
— Traci with an i #FlyEaglesFly 🦅 (@SheBleedsGreen) February 24, 2020
loved #KobeFarewell but to have Kobe’s parents & siblings not mentioned…Kobe did not get here via immaculate conception. Before Kobe was Kobe, he was Joe Bryant’s son the first to introduce him to the game, he was Pam Bryant’s son, his first love of a woman, he was a brother…
— She (@LOVE_HER_FAMILY) February 24, 2020
Joe and Pam Bryant were among the close family and friends present at the “Celebration of Life,” honoring the late Lakers legend and his 13-year-old daughter.
Joe was seen embracing Kobe’s former Laker’s teammates, Shaquille O’Neal, and Derek Fisher. Shaq did acknowledge Kobe’s parents at the memorial but the feed went out for several networks broadcasting the service around that time.
Kobe told ESPN.com in 2016 that he hadn’t spoken to his parents in three years. They did not attend his jersey retirement ceremony in December 2017, and little is known if they ever reconciled. In June of 2016, Kobe also penned an essay for The Player’s Tribune and said it was a mistake to have his parents manage his career as they did when he was just starting out.
Some of the rift is from a planned 2013 auction of Kobe’s memorabilia that netted the Joe and Pam $450K to purchase a new home in Las Vegas, something Kobe referenced when he talked about their estrangement. He thought that he’d given his parents enough money and was enraged that they used the sale to earn more.
Kobe and his sisters appeared to have a good relationship, though little is know about it. His sister Sharia, who was recorded playing with Kobe’s youngest daughter Capri on Vanessa Bryant’s Instagram after his death, has posted several throwback photos of her, Kobe and their sister Shaya.