Kobe Bryant is gone, but not forgotten. Almost five months after the NBA star's untimely death in a helicopter crash, the Los Angeles Lakers champion was honored on Sunday night during the 2020 ESPYS.
Rapper Snoop Dogg performed a moving tribute to Bryant during the two-hour virtual show. The performance was introduced by Spanish basketballer and former teammate, Pau Gasol, who discussed how the athlete's legend lived on in, particularly in Los Angeles, California.
"Kobe Bryant spent 20 years with the Lakers dedicated to becoming the best player in the world, but what he enjoyed the most was being a husband to Vanessa and a father to Natalia, Gianna, Bianka and Capri,” Gasol said. "We all remember his smile and happiness so vividly whenever he spoke about his family."
"He may be known as one of the greatest athletes of all time, but he was also one of the best girl dads of all time," Gasol continued. "Though we lost Kobe and his beautiful daughter, Gigi, five months ago, today his legacy is alive on the streets of L.A. -- the city that he loved so much.”
A heartwarming tribute was then broadcast, which showed clips from throughout Bryant’s life and career, while Snoop Dogg sang about the athlete, with lyrics like, “It's '96 and rising from the Philly streets, a teen trying to find his direction. And make that connection. Not knowing what to expect, taking it step-by-step. You weathered for the rain. In your heart and your brain. Trying to learn the terrain, ice water in your veins.”
The sweet montage also honored Bryant's role as a father, friend and humanitarian.
“East side to the west side. This is your city. Much love for the ride,” the song concluded, as a mural was shown of Bryant with 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, who died with him in a helicopter crash in January. Seven others also lost their lives in the tragedy.
Prior to the performance, the ESPYS called the segment "a love letter to Kobe Bryant from the people of Los Angeles."
So much has changed since last year's show when Bryant presented historic NBA coach and player Bill Russell with the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage.
This year's ceremony was held virtually due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, with sports stars marking the event from home -- like Russell Wilson who created his own backyard red carpet, which he rocked in a bathrobe with pregnant wife, Ciara!
For more on Bryant's passing, watch the clip below: