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Diana Taurasi speaks, Booker and Nash attend Kobe Bryant memorial

Diana Taurasi speaks during The Celebration of Life for Kobe & Gianna Bryant at Staples Center on February 24, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Among the many famous faces that packed Staples Center to attend the Celebration of Life of Kobe Bryant were Phoenix greats Diana Taurasi, Devin Booker and Steve Nash.

Taurasi gave a speech during the memorial, speaking of her time with Kobe at the 2018 Olympics.

“The competitive fire ran through his veins,” Taurasi said of how Bryant inspired her.

The Mercury star even credited Bryant’s staple stepback jumper for her 2014 title with Phoenix, in which she hit a contested shot off the dribble and got fouled with 14 seconds left to win Game 3 and complete a sweep against the Chicago Sky.

“Every single workout I end the same way, with the Kobe game-winner. Three hard dribbles going right, left foot plant-pivot, swing right leg through, elevate, square up, follow through,” she said. “Five in a row and I got to go home.

“It was that exact same shot that won the us the championship in Phoenix in 2014.”

She also spoke about Bryant’s daughter Gianna and her love for the game of basketball and threw in a joke about LeBron James.

Bryant, his daughter and seven others lost their life in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26, 2020.

Other speakers at the memorial included Jimmy Kimmel and Vanessa Bryant, while a special performance was sung by multi-platinum recording artist, Beyonce.

Attendees included Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Kanye West, Kim Kardashian, Shaquille O’Neal, Tim Duncan.

Current NBA players James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Kyrie Irving, Kyle Kuzma and Demar DeRozan were also in attendance.

Booker has honored Kobe since the crash by writing the words “Be Legendary” on his shoes.

In 2016, Bryant wrote the same words on a pair of shoes he gave Booker along with an autographed program.

Bryant’s relationship with Nash has been etched in the NBA record books as the two clashed in three playoff series from 2006-2010 with the Suns taking down the Lakers in 2006 and 2007 and the Lakers beating Phoenix in 2010 en route to Bryant’s fifth and final NBA Championship.


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