Things That Matter

TIME’s Person of the Year Special Included A Tribute To Kobe And Gianna Bryant

As we bid farewell to the year 2020, Vanessa Bryant is doing so as well.

The wife of late NBA player Kobe Bryant took some time to remember all of the loved ones lost in 2020, including her husband and their daughter Gianna during the TIME Person of the Year presentations. Speaking in a heartwarming message that aired last Thursday on NBC, Vanessa introduced the presentation’s In Memoriam segment.

Bryant spoke about grief felt in the last year during her introduction.

“Words cannot do justice to the grief we felt this year. At every level of human connection from across the world to across the table, we experienced profound loss,” Vanessa explained. “We said goodbye to husbands, daughters, wives, sons, grandparents, friends, and national heroes.”

“We continue to count the lives surrendered to this cruel pandemic, which has claimed well over a million souls, worldwide,” she continued in her speech. “Tonight, we mourn the people we all knew and the many we never will. May our collective grief unite us on the path forward.”

Following her speech, a video montage played a remembrance of the celebrities and public figures that passed away this year.

Vanessa’s late husband Kobe and Gigi, who died earlier this year in a tragic helicopter crash, were featured in the clip. They appeared alongside figures such as Regis Philbin, Sean Connery, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Eddie Van Halen, Alex Trebek, Chadwick Boseman, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others. “Over the Rainbow” was played by Cellist Yo-Yo Ma and Kathryn Stott during the memorial.

In addition to their memorial, TIME announced Lakers star, LeBron James, as their 2020 Athlete of the Year.

In a post shared to Twitter, the magazine wrote “What LeBron James has done is going to forever change the athlete’s role in society.” The magazine also announced K-pop band BTS the 2020 Entertainer of the Year. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were given the prestigious title of 2020 Person of the Year.

Speaking about her new role as the United States’ first female vice president, Kamala told TIME, “It is one of my responsibilities.”

“My mother had many sayings. She would say, ‘Kamala, you may be the first to do many things; make sure you’re not the last,'” she added. “Which is why [in my victory speech], I said, ‘I will be the first, but I will not be the last.’ And that’s about legacy. That’s about leaving the door more open than it was when you walked in.”

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