A few moments later, she added, “May you both rest in peace and have fun in heaven until we meet again one day.”
At moments on Monday, but especially during Vanessa Bryant’s eulogy, sports seemed secondary. But there were tributes, of course, to Kobe Bryant’s basketball might: the five N.B.A. championships, the 81-point game, the deftness and grit of the kid who was drafted right out of his Philadelphia-area high school and who became the hardwood heir to — and texting buddies with — Jordan, the finest player of an earlier generation.
“He wanted to be the best basketball player that he could be,” Jordan said.
Shaquille O’Neal, Bryant’s longtime teammate in Los Angeles, recalled how Bryant would say others were playing checkers while he played chess.
“And I would say ‘O.K., I guess, Kobe. I don’t know how to play chess,’” said O’Neal, who sometimes feuded with Bryant during their careers.