Greatest collection of basketball talent?

Greatest collection of basketball talent?


LOS ANGELES – Between the tears and laughs, Connecticut women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma scanned the room.

Auriemma stood on stage to commemorate Kobe and Gianna Bryant, who were among the nine people that died in a helicopter crash nearly a month ago. So after speaking for nearly 10 minutes, Auriemma could not help but notice all who listened attentively.  

“An incredible amount of talent in this room,” Auriemma said. “Maybe the greatest collection of talent that I’ve ever been around.”

Maybe the greatest collection of basketball talent ever. Monday’s memorial for Kobe and Gianna Bryant at Staples Center was a who’s who of the basketball universe.

Michael Jordan was among the basketball luminaries in attendance at Monday's memorial for Kobe and Gianna Bryant.

After Vanessa Bryant spoke emotionally about her late husband and 13-year-old daughter, the speakers included an accomplished WNBA player (Dianna Taurasi), a top woman’s basketball player (Sabrina Ionescu), a six-time NBA champion (Michael Jordan) and a former four-time NBA champion (Shaquille O’Neal).

Who else was in the crowd?

Boston Celtics legend Bill Russell, San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers, WNBA star Lisa Leslie, former Spurs player Tim Duncan, former Miami Heat player Dwyane Wade, former Chicago Bulls star Scottie Pippen, former Boston Celtics player Paul Pierce, former NBA player Caron Butler, Warriors general manager Bob Myers and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver.


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