“Everybody that’s here, this is truly a family, and I know Kobe and Gianna, Vanessa and their family, they thank you from the bottom of their heart like Kobe said.
“I know at some point we will have a memorial, but this feels like a celebration tonight. This is a celebration of the 20 years of blood, sweat and tears, the broken down bodies, the getting up, the countless hours, the determination to be as great as he could be.
“Tonight we celebrate the kid that came here at 18 years of age, retired at 38 and became just the best Dad that we’ve seen over the past three years. Tonight is a celebration.
“Before we get to play, I love you all, man.