(CNN) – The Los Angeles Lakers paid tribute to Kobe Bryant during the team's first game since the NBA legend died in a helicopter crash.
During the memorial, renowned cellist Ben Hong played at center court as a video of the basketball legend appeared on the scoreboard.
Here’s what Bryant said:
Once upon a time there was a young basketball player who had dreams of becoming one of the greatest basketball players of all-time.
He had the opportunity to go to the NBA and play against the greatest players in the world. If that doesn't get you going, I don't think anything will.
It's like a dream come true.
I couldn't even dream of this when I was a kid. You know. Just no way possible. It's just, you know, just a blessing from above.
The joy of the game comes from just being out there and just playing. The competitive side of me thinks we can win every game that we play.
What I've learned is to ... always keep going.
Do you love the process? That gets you to that. Those boring, agonizing moments. If you love that, then you know you found something that's really true to you.
You know, if you do the work, you work hard enough, dreams come true. Those times when you get up early and you work hard. Those times when you stay up late and you work hard. Those times when you don't feel like working, you're too tired, you don't want to push yourself , but you do it anyway. That is actually the dream.
If you're a fan of mine, you're a fan of winning. You're fan of the Lakers. That's never going to change.
Man, I gave my soul to this game. There was nothing more I could give.
I wanted to be one of the best basketball players to ever play and anything else that was outside of that lane, I didn't have time for.
It's not about my jerseys that are hanging up there for me. It's about the jerseys that were hanging up there before.
Growing up and watching all these great players play and learning so much from them. To now be a part of that wall, you know, means everything to me.
When you get older you start to understand that really it's about the next generation. That these championships do come and go. But the most important thing you can do is to pay everything that you've learned forward to the next generation to come. And that's truly how you create something that lasts forever.
I love storytelling. Can you imagine, like, winning an Oscar, how ridiculous that would be?
Unfortunately for us athletes, we've been pigeonholed into thinking that we can only be one thing.
I'm here to show people that we can do much more than that. Winning an Oscar, winning an Emmy and an Annie, those are things that are showing other athletes that come after, no, no, there's more to this thing.
The discipline, the commitment, the team, the community. How do I take those lessons and move those here? Having that sharp focus is something that I got from the game of basketball.
You have to dance beautifully in the box that you're comfortable dancing in. My box was to be extremely ambitious within the sport of basketball. Your box is different than mine. Everybody has their own. It's your job to try to perfect it and make it as beautiful of a canvas as you can make it. And if you have done that, then you have lived a successful life. You have lived with Mamba Mentality.
And being married to my wife, Vanessa, is, it's fun. We have a good time together. I love her tremendously. But we're best friends too. It's a blessing. And when we're raising our daughters one of the things we choose to do is you just got to try your best and you just got to give it your all. Give it everything you have.
As parents you've have to lead by example. If you want your kids to do whatever it is you want to accomplish in life, you have to show them. I have four girls, so my mission is to make sure women have opportunities. Our daughters will grow up understanding that they can be strong, they can be independent. They can be fierce.
I just love spending time with my family and just being a husband, being a father, being a goofball, just having a good time with my kids.
I grew up a diehard, I mean, a diehard Laker fan. And to spend 20 years here, I mean you can’t, you can’t write something better than this. Appreciating all this, you know the journey we’ve been on. We’ve been through our ups and we’ve been though our downs. I think the most important part is that we all stayed together throughout. You guys will always be in my heart. Thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart . God, I love you guys. What can I say? Mamba out.